Soldiers to help take down ISIS
For roughly the next nine months, 75th Field Artillery (FA) Brigade Headquarters and its Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB) will be helping coalition partners of the U.S. take down ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
Some 100 Diamond Brigade soldiers stood in formation Friday as brigade commander Col. Steven P. Carpenter and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles K. Masters performed the symbolic act of casing the colors prior to deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
Carpenter said the colors won't be flown on Fort Sill until this element of the brigade returns. While deployed, it will serve as the force field artillery headquarters for U.S. Army Forces, U.S. Central Command (ARCENT). III Corps has deployed from Fort Hood, Texas, to take over the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve mission that is operating in Iraq, and the Diamond Brigade Headquarters will be supporting III Corps as well as ARCENT.
According to its mission statement, the 75th FA Brigade will serve as the joint targeting cell to synchronize intelligence collection and target development in order to disrupt Da'ish and operations in designated areas, all in support of Inherent Resolve. It will provide training readiness oversight for U.S. fires units and increase ness oversight for U.S. fires units and increase fire support capability within partner nations of the U.S. so as to enable regional stability.
Carpenter said the weapon system for this mission will be the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
Masters will be over there for part of the time, while Carpenter will be there throughout the deployment. In his absence, Lt. Col. Brendan Toolan will serve as rear provisional brigade commander.
Carpenter said it's not unusual for a brigade commander to deploy, especially when the brigade headquarters deploys.
"Spouses, children, loved ones in the audience, please accept my sincere gratitude for enduring the hardships, the separation and your sacrifices," Carpenter said. "Thank you for supporting our soldiers as they safeguard our nation. I promise you that your soldiers will be well-led, and we have the right soldiers and leaders back here to ensure that we can continue to create the right family environment Ö You represent what is best about our Army and our nation, and you are the true heroes here today.
"It is an honor for me to stand here in front of these Diamond Brigade soldiers as we deploy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. In the fight against the Islamic State, we will wield the task force commander's surface-to-surface, all-weather destruction weapon system of choice between 30 and 300 kilometers, as we provide Iraqi Security Forces and other freedom fighters as they support the battle and win their countries back.
"ISIS is a global threat, and as part of a regional coalition, we will not stop targeting the terrorists until the threat is removed, the region is secure and our homeland and the homelands of all of our allies are safe. Operation Inherent Resolve is intended to reflect the unwavering and deep commitment of the United States to our partners in the region and around the globe, to eliminate this threat.
"Every country and every soldier has a role, and I am confident that you'll do your part. From the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Lebanon, our soldiers will work with militaries in the region to increase fire support interoperability, build effective partnerships to deter aggression, maintain peace in the Arabian Peninsula and assure our allies in the region.