Saturday, June 30, 2012

69th Air Defense Artillery ready to deploy to Qatar

By Spc. Maria Asenbrener, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade public affairs

The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade held its color casing ceremony at Cameron Field Monday in preparation for the unit's yearlong deployment to Qatar.

About 50 soldiers from the brigade are deploying to the Central Command area of operations to provide command and control of PATRIOT units protecting Qatar and the surrounding regions.

The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade arrived at Fort Hood from Germany and uncased its colors at Fort Hood in September of 2008.

Since the brigade's arrival at Fort Hood, the brigade and its battalions have focused on combat readiness and family readiness. The brigade has trained and prepared its troops to assure that they would be able to successfully accomplish any task with confidence and professionalism.

The soldiers who are deploying will play an important role in the protection of military members of various countries and branches of military services, while protecting critical sites and assets, said Brig. Gen. David Mann, commander of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Fort Bliss.

American soldiers will do whatever is needed to keep this country safe, said Col. James Jenkins, brigade commander, and this includes the soldiers of 69th who are deploying to the Central Command region.

"I am honored to be a part of this team," Jenkins said.

One of the hardest parts of going through a deployment is being separated from one's family, and the unit's deployment would not be possible without the dedication and the support of the family members.

"The families' support and sacrifices are not unnoticed," Jenkins said.