GOV. RITTER TO WELCOME HOME COLORADO

Gov. Bill Ritter will join Brig. Gen. (select) Trulan Eyre and members of the Colorado National Guard on Tuesday to celebrate the homecoming of more than 100 soldiers from the 169th Fires Brigade, who returned to Colorado on July 10 after a 15-month deployment in Iraq. The unit accomplished 150 missions and returned home without a single casualty.

The 169th Fires Brigade deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in support of Multi-National Division North. The Brigade provided strategic planning tools, personnel and equipment to foster capacity-building for communities in Iraq while also supporting the 101st Airborne Division and 25th Infantry Division.

“It’s a great honor for me to welcome home such a well-trained and dedicated force,” Gov. Ritter said. “These soldiers have served their nation proudly and I’m pleased to thank them on behalf of the State of Colorado. Moreover, I thank the families; those parents, spouses and children who have been asked for the past 15 months to carry out their daily lives without their loved one. You have my deepest gratitude for your dedicated support. Your soldier couldn’t have done it without you.”

The 169th Fires Brigade, formerly the 169th Field Artillery Brigade, is structured to provide a powerful fires-and-effects headquarters to plan, synchronize and execute counterstrikes. It also has the necessary communications architecture to integrate air, ground and naval forces. The Fires Brigade has target acquisition assets to include counter-fire radars and unmanned aerial vehicles. A Fires Brigade can control up to six battalions of Artillery and has units consisting of a UAV company, a target acquisition battery, a communications technology company and a support battalion.