Commanders of Third Infantry's Fourth Brigade rolled and encased the brigade flag and smaller unit flags for the trip to Afghanistan. The first of 2,200 brigade troops will deploy in a few days to begin their nine-month mission to help Afghanistan's army and police protect their country's democratic government from insurgents. However, the mission marks a change from previous combat missions.
"We're firmly transitioning authorities and powers and responsibility for security to the Afghans. We'll be working with the police and the army for that purpose," explained brigade commander Colonel Kimo Gallahue.
The brigade will be part of the final wave of U.S. soldiers to serve in Afghanistan as American forces are scheduled to leave the country permanently in 2014.