Photo By Staff Sgt. Thomas Duval | Lt. Col. Henry McNeilly, commander 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, inspects his formation of soldiers after casing the unit colors during a ceremony on Fort Knox's Brooks Field, June 21. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval, 3rd IBCT Public Affairs)
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FORT KNOX, Ky — The Battalion recognized as firing the first round in World War 1 is preparing for its return to combat.
In a small ceremony amongst friends and family members, the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment officially cased their colors on Brooks Field, here, June 21.
The ceremony is the culminating event before the unit reunites with the rest of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan. While deployed the ‘Centaurs’ will support various areas of operations and help transition combat operations over to the Afghan lead forces.
“This deployment is a little bit different than the last,” said Lt. Col. Henry McNeilly, commander 1st Bn., 6th FA Regt. “Artillerymen seem to be everywhere on this deployment, all the way in the north with the Cavalry and spread across Afghanistan are forward observers executing village stability operations with the ‘Blue Spaders’ and Special Forces elements.”
In addition to providing support for the every battalion within the 3rd IBCT, the Artillerymen will also be fighting alongside the 2nd Cavalry Regiment from Germany in Regional Command South. There they will be battle space owners and integrators of enablers.
Although the Fort Knox based Artillerymen and the Germany based Cavalrymen come from opposite sides of the globe this will not be the first time their path have crossed on the battlefield.
“We have ridden the same dusty trails as we fought in the Indian campaigns in our nations westward expansion; we pursued Poncho Villa, and of course shared time in the jungles of the Philippines,” said McNeilly. “Now it is time for these light horse Artillerymen standing before you to ride again in a new part of Afghanistan.”
McNeilly added, “As you will see our colors run Artillery red, Cavalry Yellow and Infantry Blue!”
McNeilly and his team have shared more than just the colors of the various Army units; they have also shared the blood and sweat put into preparing for the brigades deployment.
In preparation for their deployment the ‘Centaurs’ have completed months of combat focused training to include a demanding training cycle at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La.
After successfully completing all required training the 1st Bn., 6th FA Regt., was deemed mission ready and called on to support the drawdown efforts in Afghanistan.
With the mission constantly changing in Afghanistan, McNeilly offered the team of Artillerymen a quote to live by as they prepare to head out the door.
“There is no mission too difficult and no sacrifice too great,” he recited. “Toujours Pret- for we are always ready.”
The soldiers have already begun deploying to Afghanistan and will continue throughout the upcoming weeks.
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This work, Fort Knox Artillerymen case colors, by SSG Thomas Duval, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.