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Raider Brigade cases colors
The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division held a colors-casing ceremony Wednesday on Fort Stewart. - photo by Photo by Spc. Ryan Tatum/1st Armored Brigade Combat Team

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division held a colors-casing ceremony Wednesday on Fort Stewart as the brigade prepares for a six-month deployment as the Regionally Allocated Force for the U.S. European Command.

The casing of the colors is an Army tradition that symbolizes the movement of a unit to a new theater of operation and serves to honor the soldiers who will deploy.

"Without hesitation, I am confident in saying that the soldiers and leaders of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team standing before you today are ready to answer the nation’s call," said Col. Phil Brooks, the 1st Brigade commander.

This is the brigade’s third rotation to Europe in slightly more than a year. The brigade will train throughout 11 countries in Europe, conducting multinational exercises focused on improving interoperability with NATO allies and partners.

"We look to build on the relationships developed with our NATO allies and partners to ensure that we are able to operate seamlessly as part of a combined force," Brooks said. "The training opportunities our soldiers and young leaders will receive during this rotation will be challenging and realistic. That will ensure the brigade is ready to conduct decisive action operations against a myriad of threats."

Brooks said the brigade is able to be successful because of the support and strength of their families.

"We understand the sacrifices you have made to support your soldier as they leave home, and I want to thank each of you for all that you are doing to ensure their success," he said. "It takes supportive families who understand and believe in what their soldier is doing to provide resilient and confident soldiers."

Brooks said he is confident in the abilities of the brigade and challenged them to work on improving themselves during this rotation.

"You represent the best of the 3rd Infantry Division, our Army and our nation," he said. "Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to train with our NATO allies and partners, and I challenge each of you to get better every day."

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