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Bayonet brigade deactivates at Baumholder

October 10, 2012

By Ignacio "Iggy" Rubalcava

The 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted a casing of the colors ceremony Oct. 9 in the Hall of Champions on Smith Barracks. The ceremony marked the end of an era which saw the presence of combat Soldiers in Baumholder for more than 50 years. Casing the 170th IBCT colors for the last time were Col. Mark D. Raschke, 170th IBCT commander and Command Sgt. Major James A. Ackermann.

After the ceremony Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, U.S. Army in Europe commander, told the Soldiers, family members and German guests, "It's never easy to say good-bye to those with whom you've shared joy, sorrow, laughter and pain, peacetime training and wartime hardship. But we have asked you here on Baumholder to do all that and we've asked you to do it on a very accelerated time line. And like all the other missions the Bayonet brigade has received, you've performed that mission exceedingly well."

Brigade Soldiers have been preparing for the deactivation since their return from Afghanistan earlier this year. Only about 800 Soldiers of the 170th IBCT remain on Baumholder. By mid December to early January, the remainder of the Soldiers will have departed for other assignments or will have been absorbed by incoming units to Baumholder.

Raschke highlighted the accomplishments of the brigade and thanked the Baumholder community, German and military, for the great support they provided to the Soldiers and families before, during and after deployment. "We would not be where we are now without the help of others and I would like to thank those that have contributed to the success of the brigade, both during our deactivation, and throughout the deployment," He pointed out that many of the mayors of the local towns made a special effort to assist the families of deployed Soldiers.

"Our local community leaders have always provided tremendous support for both our Soldiers and their families," he said.

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