FORWARD OPERATING BASE LINDSEY, Afghanistan - “Desert Rogues” commander Lt. Col. Charles Armstrong officially transferred authority to incoming “Vikings” commander Lt. Col. William Downing during a transfer of authority ceremony at Forward Operating Base Lindsey, Dec. 1.
Armstrong, with the assistance of Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Littlejohn, cased their battalion’s colors officially signifying the end of their deployment. The remaining soldiers from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division will be returning home to their families in Fort Stewart, Ga. in the coming weeks.
Succeeding the casing of the battalion’s colors, Armstrong talked about some of the progress the soldiers under his command made during their time in Afghanistan.
“If you drive along Highway 4, Highway 1 or even on some of the smaller routes throughout what is now OE (operational environment) Viking, you’ll notice a bunch of economic opportunities that are being created,” said Armstrong. “There’s new buildings, there’s a lot more traffic, there are a lot more shops, the people are happier and we don’t have as much rock throwing.”
Armstrong gave thanks to the many different elements and organizations that assisted, and worked, with their battalion’s mission.
“We can accomplish anything if we don’t care who gets the credit,” he said in closing.
Following the casing of the 1-64 colors, Task Force “Vikings” commander Lt. Col. William Downing and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Kerns uncased the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division colors and officially assumed authority of the OE from 1-64.
After the uncasing of the 2-12 colors, Downing enforced to those in attendance that his soldiers are trained and ready to take over operations and stated, “We’ll stay angry.”
He went on to explain that staying angry means, “We’ll stay angry not in our attitudes or dealings with the Afghan people, but in our daily approach to life during this deployment. Intense, focused and unwilling to give in to complacency when it sets in.”