FORT HOOD – The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, cased its colors marking the unit’s upcoming deployment to Europe during a ceremony in front of the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters on Wednesday.

The brigade will replace 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, for a nine-month deployment as part of a regular summer rotation of forces in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Atlantic Resolve is designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to peace and stability in the region. It was initiated after Russian’s military intervention in Ukraine several years ago. The Fort Hood brigade will primarily be stationed in Germany during the deployment.

“We maintain the highest operational readiness rate of any armored brigade combat team in the Army right now,” said Col. Wilson Rutherford IV, the brigade commander. “We are deploying there for deterrence and assurance.”

According to the operation’s website, www.eur.army.mil/AtlanticResolve, Operation Atlantic Resolve has multinational training and security cooperation activities taking place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

“We look forward to building interoperability with them and conduct training opportunities with them,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford said the equipment needed for the deployment has already been shipped from Fort Hood and soldiers were already in transit.

About 80 percent of the brigade’s 4,200 troops would be deployed.

“It’s an exciting time,” Rutherford said. “We were the first brigade to do a rotation there and now it’s our turn again.”

The color-casing ceremony was held in conjunction with the division’s Distinguished Service Recognition ceremony.

At least 33 soldiers and civilians were recognized as volunteers of the quarter, for inspiring excellence and as winners and runners-up of the division’s best warrior competition. In addition to those recognized were six soldiers who retired from the Army.

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