The Department of the Army has announced that approximately 3,500 members of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood will deploy to Europe this summer.

Nicknamed the “Ironhorse Brigade,” 1st Brigade will replace the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas, on a regular rotation supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Ironhorse Brigade will work with NATO and other regional partners, according to Col. Wilson Rutherford IV, the brigade commander.

“We are a trained armored brigade combat team which is fully prepared to conduct a full range of operations in support of U.S. Army Europe,” Rutherford said. “Our professional leaders and soldiers are honored at the opportunity to contribute to this longstanding strategic alliance.”

Ironhorse Brigade spent much of November at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, preparing for this deployment. The unit returned to Fort Hood in early December.

“There is no other crucible event like a rotation at the National Training Center which allows a team like an Armored Brigade Combat Team to test the sum of its parts,” said Rutherford after the training rotation. “Every member learns how vital they are to the overall success of the brigade effort. We had an extremely successful rotation where all elements learned and improved from the coaching of great Observer Controllers, but also from the free-play maneuver of the world class Opposing Force of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

“As we look towards January and further training, nothing is more important to us then recharging the batteries of our secret weapon: The families who support our soldiers and leaders and allow them to do what they do for the Ironhorse Brigade and our nation,” he added.

About 6,700 other Fort Hood soldiers are currently deployed around the world.

Maj. Lloyd Bedford III, 1st Cavalry Division spokesman, said the rotation is currently expected to last nine months.

David A. Bryant contributed to this report.

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