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108th ADA takes command in Southwest Asia
Col. Christopher L. Spillman, commander of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, and Command Sgt. Major Harold Lincoln, brigade command sergeant major of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, unfurl the brigade colors during a transition of authority ceremony, June 22, in Southwest Asia. The 108th ADA replaced the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade as the command and control unit of air and missile defense forces in the Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Paul Labbe)
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108th ADA takes command in Southwest Asia

Posted 6/24/2011   Updated 6/24/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Army Staff Sgt. Henry W. Marris III
108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs


6/24/2011 - SOUTHWEST ASIA  -- The 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., took the reins from the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, based out of Fort Hood, Texas, during a Transfer of Authority ceremony, June 22, in Southwest Asia.

108th ADA has been preparing for months in order to assume command and control of air and missile defense forces throughout the Central Command area of responsibility.

Col. Christopher L. Spillman, commander of the 108th ADA, believes a successful mission lies with the Soldiers and leaders within the brigade.

"No doubt," Spillman said, "that it will be the knowledge and skills of the great professionals of the brigade and their dedication to executing this mission to the highest standard."

For a number of Soldiers in the 108th, this will be their first time to deploy in support of combat operations. 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.

"I tried to learn as much as I could during mission readiness exercises," Giauque said. "Whether that meant coming in an hour before shift or staying an hour after, I just tried to learn as much as I could from the more experienced [ones]."

Since arriving in the Southwest Asia theater of operations, the members of the incoming 108th ADA have been working side by side with their counterparts in the 69th ADA.

Often called "right-seat rides," each unit's members will accompany their outgoing counterpart for a short period of time to help ensure the smoothest possible transition of command and control between the units. One benefit to the right-seat rides is learning how the previous unit conducted operations.

"They (69th ADA) gave us examples of all the memorandums we needed to complete so we could be set up for success," said Spc. Douglas Cook, a native of El Dorado, Ark., and member of the 108th ADA brigade communications section.

The Soldiers and leaders of the 108th ADA will be deployed to Southwest Asia for 1 year in support of Central Command and it will be a learning experience for many. Cook said he hopes to gain a better perspective of how his job affects the mission during deployment. The lessons learned will be passed on when the 108th ADA rotation ends next year.

Just as many before them, the 108th ADA is prepared and ready to do their part in defending U.S. and coalition troops. For Spillman, it is more than doing his part.

"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," Spillman said.



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