Fort Drum soldiers prepare for deployment to Afghanistan

Updated: Sep. 20, 2019 at 3:17 PM EDT
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FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - For the first time since 2013, the entire 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Drum is being sent to Afghanistan.

And for some soldiers, it's their first deployment.

"Because this is my first deployment, I'm not sure what is going to happen over there, but with my senior NCOs I feel fully confident," said Specialist William Wolfe.

Soldiers with more experience overseas offer advice for first timers like Specialist Wolfe.

"Fear is okay. That's a very important thing, and something soldiers will actually feel as they go into combat for the first time," said 1SG Daniel Powers.

"Learn from the experience. We got some great leaders and great equipment, and the best training the army can provide. They will definitely, if they link up under those individuals, with those experienced leaders, they will definitely find themselves in good spots," said Col. Darrell Doremus, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade commander.

Soldiers were celebrated with a ceremonial casing of the colors.

The flags will be packed away until the brigade reaches Afghanistan and takes over for the first Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bliss in Texas.

"It is just a ceremonial moving from one installation to another mission," said Doremus.

The casing of the colors is a time honored tradition that dates back to at least the Civil War. The ceremonial part is a little more recent, starting around 50 years ago. And the ceremony carries different meanings for different people.

"It's inspiring. It's really inspiring. It's always been my dream to do this," said Wolfe.

"It's symbolic to our families that we're about to put our most precious asset into harm's way," said Doremus.

"Our organization is now officially heading out the door to take over and relieve our brothers and sisters from Fort Bliss. You know, allowing them to go home to their families after nine months deployed, and it's our turn to take over the mission," said Powers.

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade will spend nine months in Afghanistan.

Soldiers will deploy sometime this fall.

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