About 200 soldiers from 1st Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade left “The Great Place” behind March 15 to begin a yearlong deployment to Southwest Asia.

The unit will assist in the protection of host nations and troops on the ground, defending the surrounding areas from air breathing threats.

On March 8, the unit sent a handful of soldiers to the area of operations ahead of the main body to set successful conditions for the rest of the troops to follow, said Lt. Col. Aaron Roth, battalion commander.

Less than a week later, the battalion cased it colors at Fort Hood’s Starker Physical Fitness Center.

In preparation for this deployment, the battalion, which activated 16 months ago, has gone through rigorous training events to ensure the unit would be equipped to take on the mission.

“Your road to war has been extremely busy,” Brig. Gen. Dean Milner, Canadian deputy commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, said at the color-casing ceremony.

“I have no doubt the mission will be executed flawlessly,” said the battalion’s Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Navarro.

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