‘Tropic Lightning’ welcomes new leaders

| July 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Spc. Jesus J. Aranda
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

From left, Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division; Brig. Gen. Paul LaCamera, deputy commanding general, operations, 25th ID; Col. Bradley Becker, deputy commanding general, support, 25th ID; and Col. Bjarne Iverson, chief of staff, 25th ID, render to the colors during a “Flying V Ceremony” at Sills Field, Schofield Barracks, Friday. The ceremony welcomed incoming division leaders and their families in preparation for the division’s upcoming deployment to Baghdad, later this year.SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Formations of Soldiers, friends, guests, Hawaii state officials and family members gathered at Sills Field, here, Friday, to welcome three incoming senior officers to the 25th Infantry Division leadership. 

The “Flying V” ceremony, a ceremony to welcome key military officers, was an opportunity to bid aloha to Brig. Gen. Paul LaCamera, deputy commanding general, operations; Col. Bradley Becker, deputy commanding general, support; Col. Bjarne Iverson, chief of staff; and their families, as they join the division in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Baghdad this fall.

The host for the event, Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commanding general, 25th ID, spoke of his decision to combine what would typically be three separate ceremonies for the purpose of proudly displaying the talent and professionalism of the three new leaders. 

“Today’s Flying V is not only unique and significant, but unusual as well,” Champoux said. “I elected to combine these ceremonies into one. I want to give notice and to publicly display … that there is a new team who will humbly and competently lead the ‘Tropic Lightning Division’ and will take the division headquarters back to Iraq.”

Champoux spoke highly of the quality of leadership and professionalism of LaCamera, Becker and Iverson, emphasizing their competency and commitment to the division.

“I’m so very proud of this team, and I am very excited and thankful that the Tropic Lightning Division will greatly benefit from the character, talent and remarkable leadership of General LaCamera and Colonels Becker and Iverson,” Champoux said. “They are proven combat leaders, tireless and selfless problem solvers (and) innovative thinkers. They are quiet and professional, lead by example and care deeply about our Soldiers and their families.”

During the most recent deployment to northern Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Soldiers with the division’s brigades and battalions served as Task Force Lightning and operated in a wide area of the embattled nation. They worked with Iraqi security forces and Iraqi police to protect Iraqi citizens from violent extremism; provided a sense of safety, which helped bolster citizen participation in free national elections; and developed numerous public works and city beautification and reconstruction projects.

According to Champoux, the Department of the Army elected to deploy the 25th ID to the key region of Baghdad this fall as a result of the division’s successes during its previous deployment.

Category: News

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