Story by SSG Ange Desinor on 12/12/2016FORT CARSON, Colorado Families came first for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during two deployment town halls held Dec. 2 and 7 at Fort Carson.
The town hall was comprised of brigade leaders and installation family advocates who spoke directly to Soldiers and spouses about the Iron Brigade's deployment in January to eight countries in central and eastern Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
"The purpose of the town hall meeting was to communicate to families the purpose of our mission," said Cpt. Chase Rham, the family readiness liaison (FRL) for 3ABCT. "Also to show them what resources are available to them on and off post while their Soldiers are deployed. We had multiple agencies who came to talk to them."
The agencies present included Army Community Service, Red Cross, Fort Carson Housing, and finance representatives from ACS.
The families received free information and access to agencies that normally have fees associated with their services. For example, living wills, powers of attorney and family care plans.
"This helps keep the families' minds at ease knowing that they have a support system to help cope with deployment and family separation," said Rham. "Everyone was thankful to hear from the agencies, brigade leaders and, most importantly, from the brigade commander."
Col. Christopher Norrie, 3ABCT commander, laid out the purpose of the unit's nine-month mission, which includes movement of more than 2,600 pieces of armored equipment from Germany to Poland. Once in Poland, the brigade will perform integration tasks prior to sending its battalions to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries spread from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south.
"I am convinced this is the greatest brigade in the United States Army because we have the best Soldiers," said Norrie. "Usually when Soldiers arrive in country, they get settled in and then start their mission. This time it will be a little different. We will first test out our equipment and weapons, verify and inspect them to ensure they're ready for operation."
The arrival of the Iron Brigade to Europe marks the beginning of continuous rotations of U.S.-based armored brigade combat teams to provide a persistent presence that strengthens NATO defenses while deterring any acts of aggression.
The brigade will operate in Poland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.