3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs


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3rd BCT battalions inactivate, but spirits remain

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3rd BCT battalions inactivate, but spirits remain 3rd BCT battalions inactivate, but spirits remain
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3rd BCT 10 MTN inactivation Broll clip 3 3rd BCT 10 MTN inactivation Broll clip 3
3rd Brigade Combat Team was inactivated at Fort Drum, New York, August 14, 2014. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed 4 times in support of combat operations in...
3rd Brigade Combat Team Inactivation Ceremony. 3rd Brigade Combat Team Inactivation Ceremony.
3rd Brigade Combat Team was activated September 2004 and was officially inactivated in a ceremony held at Sexton Field at Fort Drum, NY on August 14, 2014.
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An aircraft with approximately 300 Soldiers returning from Afghanistan lands near Fort Drum on July 15, 2014. Also available in high definition.
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Join U.S troops as they watch the USA vs Germany World Cup Game Thursday, June 26th starting at 12 PM ET. Leave shout outs for the troops in the comment section...
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3rd BCT battalions inactivate, but spirits remain


Story by Spc. Osama Ayyad

3rd BCT battalions inactivate, but spirits remain FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Three battalions of the recently inactivated 3rd Brigade Combat Team held their inactivation ceremonies last week, bringing an end to their decade of service in the 10th Mountain Division (LI). The 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, and 4th Battalion, 25th Artillery Regiment, held their final formations as battalions on Magrath Field, where their commanders each cased battalion colors and concluded their responsibilities by ceremoniously handing their colors to Brig. Gen. Michael L. Howard, acting senior commander.

After the inactivation of 3rd BCT, some of the brigade’s battalions continued to maintain their mountain warrior heritage. The two infantry battalions – 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment – were transferred to 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams, 10th Mountain Division (LI), respectively. The 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, was inactivated, and its sister battalion, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, will reflag as 3-71 Cavalry to keep the Titans’ heritage on Fort Drum.

The 3rd BSTB, commanded by Lt. Col. Richard Whittingslow, consisted of support elements such as military intelligence, military police, combat engineers and other staff. The battalion includes the brigade’s senior rank structure as well as 3rd Brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company. Alpha Company and Golf Forward Support Company are the first elements of what will become the 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion, which will fall under 2nd BCT. The majority of 3rd BSTB’s Soldiers will be dispersed within the 10th to retain the Vanguard Battalion’s spirit on Fort Drum.

The 710th Brigade Support Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Michael B. Lalor, was the logistical heart of 3rd BCT, providing ammunition, equipment repair and part replacement services, fuel and medical company, which was the primary medical services provider for 3rd BCT while deployed. As Lalor addressed his battalion in its final formation during its inactivation ceremony, he mentioned 710th BSB’s many achievements.

“Today is a very special day for the 710th Brigade Support Battalion. … The 710th BSB led the 10th Mountain Division’s response to (Hurricane Sandy),” Lalor said proudly. “We deployed a battalion headquarters with 59 military fuel tankers. … It was an experience of a lifetime to lead that force down I-81, up the New Jersey Turnpike and into Fort Dix, N.J., where we were based. We had five key satellite sites – three in New Jersey and two in New York City, including one in lower Manhattan where Soldiers provided fuel to emergency responders.”

Among the accomplishments Lalor mentioned in his speech was the unit’s role in the constitution of Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, in 2008-2009, and reducing its size by half in the drawdown during their most recent deployment.

“We distributed over 17.5 million gallons of fuel, including 6 million directly to the aviation task force. … (We) stored, reduced and shipped over 209 tons of ammunition, most of that back out of Afghanistan,” Lalor added.

Although most of the 710th BSB Soldiers will remain in the 10th Mountain Division, the battalion itself will not remain on Fort Drum. The 94th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), at Fort Polk, La., is scheduled to reflag as 710th Brigade Support Battalion in early 2016.

The final former 3rd BCT battalion to inactivate was 4th Battalion, 25th Artillery Regiment. As an artillery unit, its primary mission was to provide fire support or artillery fire, but Lt. Col. Robert W. Marshall, 4-25 FAR commander, had more in mind when he spoke to his Soldiers in his final address.

“The battalion has answered the call to combat four times in 10 years and has had some of the most dire and difficult mission sets that the commander has had to assign, in the some of the most hostile areas of Afghanistan – places like Khost, Logar, Wardak, the Paktika and Maiwand districts of Kandahar,” Marshall maintained. “The battalion has provided fires to remote outposts, conducted air assaults, owned battle spaces, conducted (counterinsurgency operations) and most recently advised the Afghan forces as they strive for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.”

The 4-25 FAR has fired every howitzer in the Army’s inventory, but the most important projectiles in Marshall’s mind were rounds that were shot by others.

“(The most important rounds) were the rounds fired accurately by the Afghans taught by our fires training team,” Marshall insisted.

With pride, elements of 4-25 FAR will be moved to other artillery units within 10th Mountain Division, but the battalion colors will remain inactive until duty calls once more, echoing the unit’s motto: “Be silent, and act.”

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