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    Air Defenders welcome new commander

    Air Defenders Welcome New Commander

    Photo By 1st Lt. Valeria Pete | Col. Grant C. Slayden, commander of the 164 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade, left,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Valeria Pete 

    Florida National Guard Public Affairs Office

    Starke, Fla. -- Lt. Col. Michael E. Powers, outgoing commander of 1st Battalion (BN), 265 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Regiment, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Luis F. Garcia, incoming commander of 1-265 ADA BN, during a ceremony at the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center (CBJTC), Fla. Parade Field, Sunday, September 11, 2016. The day also marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a day that the Soldiers of 1-265 ADA BN will always remember.
    “This terrible attack not only had a tremendous impact on our nation, but also had a tremendous impact on this battalion - resulting in deployments to Afghanistan and Washington D.C.,” said Col. Grant C. Slayden, commander of the 164 ADA Brigade. “These deployments are a fire that has hardened the steel that is 1st Battalion,” said Slayden.
    During 2015-2016, 1-265 ADA was the first National Guard unit mobilized to Afghanistan responsible for operating the Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) system. Known as “Task Force Iron Shield”, they protected three geographical locations - Bagram Airfield, Forward Operating Base Fenty, and Camp Dahlke in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They also earned the distinction of being the only unit to not have any indirect fire (IDF) related casualties while at Bagram Airfield during their entire mobilization.
    “I am now given the privilege and trust to train and prepare the Soldiers of the 1-265 ADA to answer our nation’s call. To me it is more than an honor to be trusted with such a high responsibility,” said Garcia.
    In 1992, Garcia received his commission through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Puerto Rico. He has since served in numerous positions within the Florida Army National Guard (FLARNG), including two deployments in support of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE). His most recent position was ADA battalion commander of the 1st Battalion 211th Regional Training Institute (RTI).
    Garcia’s decorations and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), Overseas Training Ribbon (with number nine), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with "M" Device), and the Order of St. Barbara.
    He is currently employed by the Bank of America Corporation / Global Financial Crimes and Compliance Division. He is married to Dr. Sylvette Garcia and has a daughter, Arianna Marie Garcia.



    Date Taken: 09.11.2016
    Date Posted: 09.16.2016 17:14
    Story ID: 209868
    Location: STARKE, FL, US 
    Hometown: ORLANDO, FL, US
    Hometown: STARKE, FL, US

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