By Staff Sgt. Noshoba Davis, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
ERBIL AIR BASE, Iraq – The Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Tiger Brigade, assumed responsibilities in the Combined Joint Operation Area, January 31, after conducting a transfer of authority ceremony at Erbil Air Base.
The Tiger Brigade deployed in support of U.S. Central Command’s Operations Inherit Resolve and Spartan Shield. They replaced Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Falcon Brigade, after several weeks of cross training between the two units.
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Paul Calvert, CJTF-OIR Senior Enlisted Advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Puckett Jr., and other senior leaders attended the ceremony as official guests. The ceremony was held with limited personnel in attendance to conform to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
During the ceremony, Calvert addressed both outgoing and incoming brigade commanders.
“Phil, you and the Falcon Brigade have made one hell of a difference, and we’re proud to have had the opportunity to serve at your side,” said Calvert. “Scott, you and the Tiger Brigade are also going to make a difference, and we look forward to realizing that difference in time.”
During the ceremony, Col. Phillip Kiniery III, brigade commander of 2-82 and Sgt. Maj. Milton Terrell, the senior noncommissioned officer of 2-82, cased the unit’s colors signifying the completion of their responsibilities for CJTF-OIR.
“The Falcons came to make a difference and to support our partners in keeping Daesh defeated, and that is what they did. I’m proud of the Paratroopers of this brigade,” said Kiniery. “Scott and Soldiers of the Tiger Brigade, we welcome you to Erbil Air Base and to what we emphatically call this righteous mission. There’s still work to be done and your team will play an integral part in the future of OIR.”
Col. Scott Desormeaux, brigade commander of 256th IBCT, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Comeaux, senior noncommissioned officer of 256th IBCT, uncased the unit’s colors assuming command of base defense operations at Erbil Air Base and other bases in the U.S. CENTCOM area of operation.
“The Louisiana Tiger Brigade is hungry, sir. We’re hungry to come over here and do our job. We’re here to do this mission, execute your intent and go home a better organization that we came over here as,” said Desormeaux. “We couldn’t have done this without the incredible professionalism of the 82nd Airborne. They have set us up for success every step of the way. Phil, you and your team will always be a part of the history in the Louisiana Tiger Brigade, and we appreciate you for that.”