Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Afghanistan bound — 4th BCT cases colors

Col. James Mingus, commander, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, the brigade’s senior enlisted leader, case the brigade colors Feb. 16 at the Special Events Center, signifying the unit’s departure from Fort Carson. Three-thousand 4th BCT Soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan for a nine-month mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Story and photo by Pfc. Andrew Ingram

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

Col. James Mingus and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, commander and senior enlisted leader of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, cased the “Warrior” Brigade colors during a ceremony at the Fort Carson Special Events Center, Feb. 16.

Each of the brigade’s six battalions also furled their organizational colors, signifying the units’ departure for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

“Today marks the fourth time these colors have been cased, and the second time prior to a deployment to Afghanistan,” Mingus told the assembled Soldiers and members of the Mountain Post community. “Four times the nation has called, and four times the brigade has answered.”

The 4th BCT colors will remain cased until Mingus and Griffin unfurl them in Afghanistan, assuming their mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Warrior Brigade will face many unique challenges during its deployment in support of OEF, said Mingus.

“Our challenge, and our real mission during this deployment, will be to empower our Afghan partners,” he said. “In most cases, they are absolutely ready. They are tenacious, fearless, hard working and honorable people, who want nothing more than a better future for their Families and children.”

Mingus said he looked forward to working closely with his Afghan counterparts to find the best way forward for the people of Afghanistan.

Spc. Joseph Regan, a cavalry scout assigned to Troop B, 3rd Battalion, 61st Cavalry Regiment, said he looked forward to assisting the Afghan people in reaching their goals.

“I like being deployed,” Regan said. “We go out there and help a country that really needs it. My last deployment, we trained the Iraqi Army, and it was inspiring to see how hard they work — how much they care about defending their country and making it better.”

As the Warrior Brigade prepared for its upcoming deployment, veteran Soldiers constantly impressed upon new troops the importance of constant vigilance, said Regan.

“Situational awareness is really important,” he said. “We have to know what is going on around us at all times; we all want to come home safe.”

To develop this discipline, the Warrior Brigade Soldiers honed their combat skills at the range, built team cohesion during field exercises at the Fort Carson Training Area, and studied the terrain and people of Afghanistan in the classroom, said first-time deployer Spc. Laura Taylor, transportation specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 704th Brigade Support Battalion.

“We are very ready to go,” said Taylor. “I am excited about the Soldiers I am deploying with. They work hard, they are dedicated to their jobs and they look out for each other.”

Approximately 3,000 4th BCT Soldiers will depart Fort Carson during the next several weeks for Afghanistan.

The brigade will serve in an advise and assist capacity during its nine-month deployment, training and developing Afghan security forces.

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