Columbus, Ohio – On Sunday, 2 November 2008, the 174th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade became America’s newest ADA brigade at an activation ceremony at the Defense Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The Ohio Army National Guard (ARNG) was authorized to form the 174th ADA Brigade on 1 September 2006 as a result of the realignment of ADA units in the Army National Guard (ARNG). Once authorized, the brigade started its organization process and was officially activated on 1 September 2008.
Major General Gregory Wayt, the Adjutant General of Ohio, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. “This is a great day for the Air Defense Artillery branch,” said Wayt, “as we officially welcome the seventh Air Defense Artillery brigade in the United States Army.”
The activation ceremony is an old Army tradition. It serves two purposes. First, it allows the commander the opportunity to assess the readiness and discipline of the unit. Second, the uncasing of the colors marks a definite point-in-time to commemorate the beginning of a unit’s history and lineage.
Colonel Rufus J. Smith, Commander, 174th ADA Brigade addressed the crowd of Soldiers, dignitaries, subordinate unit commanders and command sergeants major, and other guests. “It has
taken a lot of hard work and support from everyone on the team to make this day a reality,” Smith said. “Today marks the first step of a long journey ahead. We are excited about the future and no one is going to work harder than our brigade. This organization is invincible.”
The brigade is made up of approximately 2,400 Soldiers and provides command and control for four Ohio-based subordinate battalions. These subordinate units are the 1st Battalion, 174th ADA, headquartered in Woodlawn; the 2-174th ADA, headquartered in McConnelsville; the 1-145th Armor Battalion out of Stow; and the 2-107th Cavalry Squadron in Hamilton.
Among the distinguished guest attending the ceremony were Mr. Michael Dustman, representing US Senator George Boinovich; Mr. Joe Wieder, representing US Senator Sherrod Brown; Ms. Rachel Elsea, representing US Congressman Dave Hobson; Major General Matthew Kambic, Assistant Adjutant General of Ohio; Major General Herbert Newton, Commander, 263rd Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) of the South Carolina ARNG; Major General Todd Carmony, Commander, 38th Infantry Division; Brigadier General Patricia McQuistion, Commander, Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC); Brigadier General Glenn Hammond; Commander, 16th Engineer Brigade; and Command Sergeant Major Bill Gilliam, Ohio ARNG Command Sergeant