By Margaret Gotheridge, USAG Schweinfurt Public AffairsAugust 7, 2012
SCHWEINFURT, Germany -- It's been a busy summer for the Soldiers and families of the 18th Engineer Brigade.
In June, the brigade returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, gained a new commanding officer in Col. Scott A. Petersen on July 27, and, in duel ceremonies Aug. 2, the brigade headquarters uncased its colors on Conn Barracks and held an assumption of responsibility ceremony to welcome the brigade's Command Sgt. Maj. Lauro F. Obeada.
"Just in case painting all the bollards around our headquarters here engineer red wasn't enough to let you know that we are in town, we thought that we would have a ceremony as well," said Petersen, referencing the fresh coats of engineer red on their new headquarters building.
Uncasing its colors in Schweinfurt, the brigade officially marks its new home there, though its headquarters staff have been in the process of relocating from Schwetzingen, Germany over the last few months.
As the 18th Engineer Brigade welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Lauro F. Obeada they also bid farewell to Sgt. Major David G. Crews who was acting as the interim command sergeant major the last few weeks.
"As the interim command sergeant major my role over the past few weeks has been all about the new command team and assisting in the brigade's relocation to Schweinfurt," said Crews. "By September the whole brigade will be here."
The task of relocating a brigade is not a simple feat. The relocation is also dealing with the issue of Schweinfurt's impending closure of the garrison.
"I know our mission is not easy, but if we stick with the basics of training and maintaining ourselves, developing our subordinate leaders, care for our Soldiers and always caring for our wounded Soldiers and their families, there is nothing we will not be able to accomplish," said Obeada.
Petersen stated that he along with Obeada plan to build strong bonds with the military and German communities. "I have little doubt that even though the time until Schweinfurt garrison closes is way too short, our friendships and memories that we share together will last much longer than this post as an American installation."
The importance of the ceremony was marked by the caliber of the attendees which included Brig. Gen. Mark S. Hendrix, commander of the 7th Civil Support Command, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command's Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Sanchez, Klaus Rehberger who is the 2nd Mayor of Schweinfurt and top brass members of the German Infantry School in Hammelburg.
With more 25 years of service in the Army, Obeada has had many different assignments in the U.S. and overseas. He has also obtained numerous awards to include the coveted Army Engineer Association's prestigious de Fleury Medal. During his service he has been through five combat tours.
Obeada is married and together he and his wife have four children.