By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

The 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team will soon depart Fort Hood for an area south of Baghdad, replacing the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Col. Scott Efflandt and Command Sgt. Maj. Lance P. Lehr led a casing ceremony as the brigade and its battalions furled their colors, the last ceremonial step in their preparation for Iraq.

The "Ironhorse" Brigade joins the division's 2nd, 3rd and 4th brigades in Iraq, where all are serving in advise-and-assist roles.

The soldiers will serve in Iraq in a crucial time in history, said Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., III Corps and Fort Hood commander, and what they will do will have a major impact on the region and world.

"You will not watch history, you will make it," he said.

Though ceremonies like Thursday's seem routine, each is important and unique, said Col. Scott Efflandt, brigade commander, because they represent the impending and immense sacrifice of the soldiers and their loved ones.

This will be the brigade's fourth deployment since Sept. 11, 2001.

The soldiers are set to take over in Iraq a little more than four months before the Dec. 31 security agreement deadline, which states all U.S. troops are to be out by the end of 2011. Despite the deadline, officials have told soldiers and their loved ones to prepare for a 12-month deployment.

The brigade already has liaisons in place in Iraq, preparing for the transition and the arrival of the soldiers. Efflandt said the brigade will assume command of the area on Aug. 15.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7547. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary or www.facebook.com/astairrett.

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