Fort Sill_BRAC is officially underway as a Ft. Sill unit leaves Thursday night for Ft. Lewis in Washington state. The 17th Field Artillery Brigade is the first military unit to leave Ft. Sill as part of the base realignment. It was exactly one year ago that the first unit came to Ft. Sill.
Most recently the unit deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. They were involved in the construction and repair of Iraqi schools, the movement of ammunition through the Sunni-triangle, and securing main supply routes with multiple relay points. In 2005, they once again deployed to Iraq, conducting garrison and base defense operations.
"And they've done it with pride, and with dignity, and they've done it exceptionally well," said Brigade Commander Col. David McCauley. "They've made a great name for the field artillery in every community that they've touched."
And now they are off to impact a new community -- but they say they'll miss the place they've come to call home. Colonel McCauley says a true testament of how well a post and a community interact, is when you deploy to war, how many families actually stay.
"And I can tell you for a fact that when we deployed from Ft. Sill, families stayed because of this community and that sense of family that we get," McCauley said. "So that's what we'll miss about Ft. Sill, is the genuineness of it, and the good people."