Fort Riley, Kansas



4-4 CAV leaves for Afghanistan

By SSG Melissa Crawford | 1bct_4_4 | March 07, 2011

On the evening of Feb. 26, the Soldiers of the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team shared one last embrace with their Families and friends before the start of a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, in support of 'Operation Enduring Freedom.'

The 'Pale Riders' are considered well- trained and equipped for their up-coming mission. "I feel awesome," said Lt. Col. Michael Katona, commander of 4-4 CAV.

Katona added that he is confident that his Soldiers have been provided with the best training, equipment and leadership in preparation for this deployment.

The squadron conducted pre-deployment training in Fort Irwin, Calif. at the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. At these facilities, the Soldiers participated in a variety of different scenarios from conflict resolution to force-on-force drills to live-fire training.

The Soldiers will be wearing the new multicam uniform. The complex pattern is manufactured to mirror the environmental surroundings and colors.

"It's a lot more difficult to see you if you kind of blend into the vegetation around you," said 1st Sgt. Kendall Titus, senior noncommissioned officer of Troop D, 4-4 CAV..

Titus added that he finds the new uniforms more comfortable than the Army Combat Uniform.

A few of the squadron's Soldiers will be deploying for the first time, which inspires a myriad of emotions.

SPC Diego Estrada of Troop D,4-4 CAV said he is excited, nervous and sad, but Katona said with the help from the Troop Family Readiness Group members and all of the troop commanders and NCOs, the Soldiers were reassured their Families will be taken care of, said Katona. Contact with Family and friends through Video Teleconference Calls and social media networks will be made available to the Soldiers.

The squadron commander said his Soldiers are capable of accomplishing any mission and overcoming any challenge that might present itself. Even though he has previous deployments under his belt, Katona said that every deployment is different and challenges.

"We are absolutely able to accomplish any mission that's going to go before us," he said.

Capt. Alfred Waters, the 4-4CAV Rear-Detachment commander, said he is proud to take the reins of the battalion in the commander's absence.

Waters said the squadron's command made certain that the squadron is ready for the fight.

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