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Col. Van J. Voorhees, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commader of U.S. Army Europe, salute during a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour.
Col. Van J. Voorhees, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commader of U.S. Army Europe, salute during a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour. (Steven Beardsley/Stars and Stripes)
Col. Van J. Voorhees, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commader of U.S. Army Europe, salute during a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour.
Col. Van J. Voorhees, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commader of U.S. Army Europe, salute during a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour. (Steven Beardsley/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade stand at attention during the colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour.
Soldiers with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade stand at attention during the colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour. (Steven Beardsley/Stars and Stripes)
Col. Van J. Voorhees, left, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commader of U.S. Army Europe return to the reviewing stand as part of a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour.
Col. Van J. Voorhees, left, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commader of U.S. Army Europe return to the reviewing stand as part of a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour. (Steven Beardsley/Stars and Stripes)
Col. Van J. Voorhees, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, speaks to attendees at a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10 month tour.
Col. Van J. Voorhees, commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, speaks to attendees at a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10 month tour. (Steven Beardsley/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade salute as they pass the reviewing stand at a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour.
Soldiers with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade salute as they pass the reviewing stand at a colors casing ceremony for the brigade on April 20, 2012, in Katterbach, Germany. The brigade's units are deploying to Afghanistan and Kuwait for a 10-month tour. (Steven Beardsley/Stars and Stripes)

KATTERBACH, Germany — U.S. Army Europe’s combat aviation brigade cased its colors here Friday, a final flourish before its deployment to Afghanistan and Kuwait.

The 12th Combat Aviation Brigade will serve a 10-month tour in Regional Command North in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and in Kuwait as part of Operation Spartan Shield, brigade commander Col. Van J. Voorhees Jr. told attendees at the ceremony, held at the post airfield.

Several units have already deployed. Company C of the 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, an attack reconnaissance unit, is already downrange, while Company C, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, a general support aviation unit, recently returned.

Friday’s ceremony marked the upcoming deployment of the full brigade, Voorhees said.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of U.S. Army Europe, reviewed the unit with Voorhees. Hertling noted the regularity of such ceremonies in Europe over the past decade.

“We have been at war over 10 years now, and these casing ceremonies have become somewhat routine,” he said.

The war in Afghanistan is at a “turning point,” Hertling continued.

The general also quipped that some in the surrounding German community would not miss the brigade’s departure, given the reduction in noise it would bring.

Equipped with Apache, Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, the 12th CAB offers support, reconnaissance and assault capabilities.

The unit has seven battalions spread across Germany, with most soldiers in Katterbach and Illesheim. The 12th CAB is the largest combat aviation brigade in the Army, according to Voorhees.

beardsleys@estripes.osd.mil

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