By Staff Sgt. Henry W. Marris III<br /> 108th ADA Brigade Public Affairs, Third Army Public Affairs <br /> <br /> SOUTHWEST ASIA – A transfer of authority ceremony between the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the 108th Air Defense Artillery was held June 22 in Southwest Asia. <br /> <br /> Col. Jimmy Jenkins, 69th ADA commander, passed authority to Col. Christopher Spillman, 108th ADA Commander. <br /> <br /> “The knowledge and skills of the great professionals of the brigade and their dedication to executing this mission to the highest standard will make this deployment successful,” said Spillman. <br /> <br /> The Fort Bragg, N.C., based 108th ADA has been preparing for months to assume command and control of air and missile defense forces throughout the Central Command area of responsibility. <br /> <br /> The soldiers of the 108th ADA will be deployed to Southwest Asia for one year in support of U.S. Central Command. <br /> <br /> For a number of soldiers in the 108th ADA, this will be their first time deploying in support of combat operations and a learning experience for many. <br /> <br /> Pfc. Mark A. Giauque, a native of Camarillo, Calif., and a soldier in the brigade operations section, says he relied heavily on training exercises to help prepare for the mission.<br /> <br /> “I tried to learn as much as I could during mission readiness exercises,” said Giauque. “Whether that meant coming in an hour before shift or staying a hour after, I just tried to learn as much as I could from the more experienced [ones].”<br /> <br /> Since arriving in the Southwest Asia theater of operations, the members of the incoming 108th ADA have been working side by side with 69th ADA. Often called ‘right-seat, left-seat rides’ each unit’s members accompany their outgoing counterpart for a short period of time to ensure the smoothest possible transition between the units. One benefit to the right-seat, left-seat rides is learning how the previous unit conducted operations.<br /> <br /> “They [69th ADA] gave us examples of all the memorandums we needed to complete [during this deployment]; so we could be set up for success,” said Spc. Douglas Cook, a native of El Dorado, Ark., and member of the 108th ADA communications section.<br /> <br /> Cook said he hopes to gain a better perspective of his job and how it affects the mission during deployment. The lessons learned will be passed on when the 108th ADA rotation ends next year.<br /> <br /> The 108th ADA is prepared and ready to do their part in defending the U.S. and partner nations. <br /> <br /> “It is a tremendous honor and a professional high point in my career to lead this brigade and our deployed battalions in the execution of a vital mission in support of our national interests,” said Spillman. <br /> <br /> The 69th ADA returns to Fort Hood, Texas after its year-long deployment.