BAUMHOLDER, Germany – Nearly 18 months after the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team colors flew anew, the brigade commander and command sergeant major furled the guidon, a red and blue flag bearing the brigade’s Bayonet emblem in its foreground, and marked the beginning of the brigade’s year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
Soldiers with 170th IBCT held a casing of the colors ceremony at the Hall of Champions here Feb. 4. The deployment is the brigade headquarters’ first to a combat zone since its involvement in the Polar Bear Expedition into northern Russia during World War I. The troop movement will consist of roughly 3,000 Bayonet soldiers leaving the Baumholder community in February.Col. Patrick E. Matlock, the 170th IBCT commander, expressed his gratitude for his soldiers’ hard work during the train-up period for the Operation Enduring Freedom deployment. Matlock also said he was confident the brigade’s troops were ready to perform the mission at hand."In November, I went to Afghanistan with the senior leaders of the brigade to conduct a reconnaissance for our deployment," said Matlock. "As Command Sgt. Maj. Grinston and I returned to Baumholder, both of us shared the same feeling: We are ready. Nothing we saw gave us concern because of the direction and quality of our training."The brigade deployed twice to Grafenwöhr Training Area in the last 12 months for weapon’s qualification and once to the Joint Multi-National Readiness Center in Hoenfels for a mission readiness exercise in preparation for the deployment. Matlock thanked Bayonet family members for their support during the training process and reminded the soldiers in formation how important family members are even while separated geographically."Every soldier has a family. Whether single or married, whether accompanied here in Europe or supported proudly from home," said Matlock. "A soldier learns very early in the Army that none of this is possible without the love and care of a strong family."
Bayonet soldiers with B Company, 40th Engineer Battalion deployed to Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan in June 2010 and were the first to deploy from the brigade. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment followed when they deployed to Camp Alamo in November to train Afghan National Security Forces in support of NATO’s training mission.The majority of the brigade’s soldiers will work under a German division and conduct operations throughout northern Afghanistan, while the brigade’s 4th Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment soldiers will be part of a Canadian battle group in the South. The soldiers will provide security for International Security Assistance Force provincial reconstruction teams and help train Afghan National Security Forces and Afghan Border Police to guard their homeland.
-- Sgt. Christopher Klutts
If man only knew it, he fears man because he has ceased to fear God; for the man who has lost his roots in God is the terror of his fellowmen. 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' (Prov 1:7)- only the beginning, for in later stages love replaces fear.
--Fulton J. Sheen
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