FORT HOOD — The 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade held a change of command ceremony Friday on Fort Hood’s Cooper Field.
Col. Cain Baker, the outgoing commander, relinquished command to Col. Lance K. Van Zandt.
Maj. Gen. Paul Calvert, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, said the brigade had been impressive for the previous two years under Baker’s command.
“Their home station train-up, their deployment and redeployment operations distributed mission command of the brigade across three continents,” Calvert said.
Under Baker’s command, elements of the brigade deployed in support of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Van Zandt was commissioned an aviator in 1996 after graduating from the United States Military Academy. He was stationed at Fort Hood from 2002 to 2009 and commanded three companies in combat.
“I can not be more blessed, humbled and at the same time proud, to have this opportunity,” Van Zandt said.
Baker thanked Calvert and others for their leadership and the opportunity to lead the brigade and welcomed Van Zandt to the unit.
“Today the (brigade) gains a leader that I’ve known for years,” Baker said. “Lance Van Zandt is a visionary leader, a warrior and someone that loves being with troopers.”
Baker’s next assignment will be in Washington, D.C., where he will work in the office of the undersecretary for defense for policy.
During the ceremony, brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Lucio C. DeAnda also handed over the reins after two years as the brigade’s senior enlisted advisor to Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew J. Clark.