FORT POLK, La. - The 1st Cavalry Division's newly re-flagged 4th Brigade Combat Team began its mission readiness exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center with only a few hurdles to climb here March 11.

According to the 4th Brigade's executive officer, Lt. Col. Scott Gerber, the First Team set their newest brigade up for success.

"You've got to give those guys credit, the 1st Cavalry Division has helped us every step of the way with transferring over from the 4th Infantry Division and getting ready for this exercise," Gerber explained. "They have just returned from a 15-month deployment to Iraq, and immediately helped us resolve issues, such as providing essential resources for this training rotation."

Gerber says his unit is experiencing very few issues, despite re-flagging to a new division along with approximately a 30 percent of personnel changing over.

As the unit's executive officer with 17 years of military experience, Gerber serves as the assistant to the brigade commander, Col. Phillip Battaglia.

"I try to take care of the routine missions, so the brigade and battalion commanders can focus on the critical tasks such as preparing their Soldiers for Iraq," the executive officer said.

Gerber, from Florence, Ore., assumed his current duties six months ago. He says his job is easy because the unit is full of good leaders, and Gerber has a long history with Cav's new 4th Brigade.

"I've been with this unit since we stood up in December of 2004, and we have Soldiers who deployed with the 4th Infantry Division, so that makes my job that much easier," Gerber said.

The Long Knives are set to use this JRTC rotation as a springboard for its scheduled summer deployment to Iraq.