Story and photos by Pfc. Jacob Nunnenkamp, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas – The 1st Cavalry Division Artillery Brigade (DIVARTY) hosted an assumption of command ceremony at Charles B. Allen Hall Sept. 7 to activate a new battery in the division.
Cpt. Zemas K. Andargachew assumed command of Delta Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Gonzales assumed the responsibility as the acting battery first sergeant.
“Today marks a page in air defense history, as Cpt. Andargachew takes command of the first man-portable air defense system battery of the first maneuver-short range air defense battalion within a division,” said Lt. Col. Sam M. Pearson, commander of the 6th Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and after serving nine years in the Army, this is Andargachew’s first assumption of command. He is the first to command this newly formed battery.
“I feel incredibly humbled to be a part of this historic moment,” said Andargachew. “It is my highest professional honor to take the sacred responsibility of command of the Dark Knight Battery.”
Gonzales, the acting first sergeant of Delta Battery, is accepting his first assumption of responsibility after 17 years serving in the army as an air and missile defense crewmember.
“This is exciting, it is an uncharted territory, we are all looking forward to bringing these capabilities to the 1st Cavalry Division,” said Gonzales.
The 6th Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, reactivated on Fort Hood, under the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery earlier this year.
“I would also like to thank the soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers that have worked tirelessly toward preparing for this ceremony and their continued efforts to building Delta Battery from the ground up,” said Pearson. “You all have exceeded the expectations set before you and for that I am extremely grateful.”