Apr 23, 2010 12:55 PM by Melissa Canone
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - The Louisiana Army National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team formally assumed their role as Task Force Tiger in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at a recent transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Adder in Iraq.
The task force, commanded by Col. Jonathan T. Ball and Command Sgt. Maj.
Kenneth R. Wagner, both residents of Pineville, La ., uncased its colors to
symbolize the transfer of authority from the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat
Team's Task Force Jungleer to Louisiana's Tiger Brigade.
The unit's primary mission consists of providing convoy escort teams to
conduct security to set the conditions for the future responsible reduction
of U.S. Armed Forces and equipment in Iraq.
"For the Soldiers of the 256th Tiger Brigade, our time is now to step up and
execute the mission we have trained hard for over the past 12 months,"
stressed the brigade commander. "I have the utmost confidence in the
Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers in this brigade. You are
professionals in all that you do and will continue to raise the standards."
The Louisiana College graduate also took the opportunity to express his
heartfelt thanks to the Oregon National Guard's 41st for their assistance in
the transfer of authority process.
"It has been my honor to work our relief in place and transfer of authority
with Colonel Dan Hokanson and the outstanding Soldiers of the 41st Infantry
Brigade Combat Team," continued Ball. "Your professionalism, dedication and
willingness to go the extra mile to make our TOA successful has set the
standard for any brigade to emulate and for that, I offer my heartfelt
Mobilized Jan. 5, the 256th spent approximately two months at Camp Shelby,
Miss., conducting pre-deployment training to prepare for their new mission.
Upon arrival to their overseas duty station, they worked alongside members
of the 41st to assist with the transition into their new role.
Col. Dan Hokanson of Keizer, Ore., 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team
commander, addressed the leadership of the 256th regarding their assigned
"The honor and pride in every mission will now fall into the very capable
hands of Colonel Johnny Ball and Command Sergeant Major Kenneth Wagner and
the Soldiers of the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team," said Hokanson. "I
know that Task Force Tiger will take their missions to the next level."
"To the Soldiers of Task Force Tiger, good luck and Godspeed," continued
Hokanson. To the Soldiers of Task Force Jungleer...well done. It has been
an honor to serve with you."
The 256th arrived in theater in March, providing command for more than 3,000
Soldiers from its own units. The units under its command include the
1-141st Field Artillery, headquartered in New Orleans; 2nd Battalion, 156th
Infantry Regiment from Abbeville, La.; 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry
Regiment from Lake Charles, La.; the 256th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
from Lafayette, La.; the 199th Brigade Support Battalion from Alexandria,
La.; and 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Shreveport,
Along with the 256th Troops, the brigade also provides command and control
for approximately 400 Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard's 1st
Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Lynchburg, Vir. The
LANG's 156th Army Band headquartered in Bossier City, La., directed by CW2
Wade Furniss, also deployed with the 256th to provide Joint Visitors Bureau
support for the Victory Base Complex.
Even though the brigade's second deployment in support of OIF is potentially
not as dangerous as the full spectrum operations provided in 2004, the
various missions of the 256th units will provide a historical opportunity
for the unit's command as Iraq continues to display the ability to maintain
peace and security for its residents.
The units of the 2/108th, 1-141st, 1-116th and the 3-156th will primarily
provide security and Convoy Escort Teams throughout the brigade's various
areas of responsibility. The 199th will provide garrison command over VBC
and 2-156th has assumed the role of command over the Area Defense Operations
The new ADOC, commanded by Lt. Col. Eric "Clay" Rivers and Command Sgt. Maj.
Sud A. Robertson of Abbeyville, La., consists of eight companies, and
various missions to include manning entry control points, with as many as
30,000 weekly visitors, escorting convoys, operating the Joint Visitors
Bureau and providing security for distinguished visitors.
"It is a very versatile mission, but I feel very confident that our Soldiers
are trained, motivated and ready to get started," the new ADOC commander
said. "We look forward to working with our Iraqi partners and other U.S.
Forces as we defend Victory Base Complex from hostile threat and continue
ongoing security operations."