FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Thousands of 10th Mountain Division soldiers have returned to Fort Drum.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, stationed with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum held its uncasing ceremony on February 3.
Although most 1BCT soldiers returned home before the New Year, the uncasing ceremony honors the team’s official homecoming, as the Brigade was deployed to the Middle East for nine months in 2022 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
During the ceremony, each of the 1BCT Battalions revealed their colors on Fort Drum for the first time since their deployment.
10th Mountain Division Commanding General Major General Gregory Anderson also addressed the thousands of soldiers and deemed their deployment a success.
“I’m very proud of your contributions and efforts to making the world safer,” Major General Anderson told the troops. “What you did in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan and in other parts of the Middle East, to ensure that ISIS can’t get a foothold in this world is to be commended.”
This most recent deployment differed from previous missions led by the 1BCT. According to Brigade Commander Colonel Brian Ducote, soldiers were responsible for assisting allied forces.
“Advising, enabling and assisting partners comes with some level of risk. They were able to evaluate that risk, mitigate it and protect themselves as well as enable their partners,” Col. Ductote said. “So their partners saw them as someone who could execute their mission.”
The successful deployment follows the legacy of the 1BCT, as it is one of the 10th Mountain’s original infantry units.
While overseas, Col. Ducote explained that soldiers led civilian patrols, protected critical infrastructure and leveraged resources.
“They protected the force. They protected themselves while exposing themselves to the level of risk that we needed them to, to ensure that our partners were successful,” he said. “It’s really heartwarming when a partner who you invest so much into says you’re value-added, and you really do so much for us.”
All 1st Brigade Combat Team soldiers, except for those serving in the 1-87 Infantry Battalion Command Team “Summit,” were present at the uncasing ceremony. Command Team “Summit
remains deployed in the Middle East. But are expected to return by the late winter months of 2023.