Ceremony held at Fort Johnson for deploying troops

Published 10:51 am Monday, July 1, 2024

By Emily Burleigh

Two ceremonies were held on Mountain Field at Fort Johnson on Friday.

A colors casing ceremony was held for the 3rd Brigade Light Infantry, 10th Mountain Division (3/10). Within the month, about 2,700 soldiers will be deployed from Fort Johnson to the Mihail Kogalniceau Air Base (MKAB) in Romania, near the Black Sea.

3/10 is being deployed in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and is “the continuation of a U.S-led measure which began in 2014 under the Department of Defense ‘European Deterrence Initiative’ to enhance NATO military capacities,” according to U.S. Europe World Affairs.

The color casing ceremony signified the deployment of 3/10. When a unit or headquarters of a unit are deployed, the colors of the unit are ceremoniously cased, furled and placed inside a canvas cover to signify that the command has seized operations at the location. The canvas cover protects the cover during unit movement.

Once the unit reaches the United States European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility, the transfer of authority is complete and the unit has “assumed the fight,” the colors will be uncased at the new location to signify that the command is operational at its new station.

Commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team Col. Ryan Barnett during the ceremony said that being in command is a “privilege.”

For nearly two years, 3/10 has been training and preparing for this mission. He assured that the soldiers are “ready for the task and motivated to answer the nation’s call.”

“There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that this brigade is ready.”

There are four main tasks for the mission. The first is to deter Russian aggression. They will be in locations 25 miles from the Russian border. He said that deterrence involves the army “delivering combat ready formations” that demonstrate their “intelligence capabilities,” “ability to command and control formations across six different countries,” “ability to sustain” themselves through integration into a “robust logistical network” and their “lethality.”

3/10 is one of three brigades tasked with executing an aggressive training strategy. The other two are located in the Pacific and at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

They must “transform while in contact” to exhibit the “army’s capacity to transform and modernize no matter what mission” is being conducted or where they are located.

The final task is to assure NATO allies and partners of security cooperation.

“We embark on the mission to protect the country’s strategic intertest, regionally aligned, to maintain our strong relationships with our NATO allies and partners,” he said.

Prior to the colors casing ceremony, a inactivation ceremony was held for the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment.