COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Laura Clellan visited Soldiers of the Colorado Army National Guard’s 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Colorado Springs, Dec. 7, 2023.
This visit allowed the 100th MDB command team and staff to give Clellan an updated command brief and face time with Soldiers while learning about their preparations for a flight test the following week.
“Every time I come down here, I learn something new while I'm watching the drills that I didn't know before this because it's so complex,” Clellan said.
The 100th MDB’s mission is ground-based, midcourse defense. This defense system is the only system capable of defeating inbound intercontinental ballistic missile threats to the homeland. While the brigade has a few Active Duty Soldiers, most of the brigade is comprised of full-time COARNG Soldiers.
Training for this 24/7/365 homeland defense mission takes approximately four months to complete, creating a necessity for more stabilized service members.
“I think it lends itself to continuity,” Clellan said. “It's a very unique mission. It's not a typical air defense mission. It's not an easy mission to learn, or to rotate and I think it ensures that we have a trained and competent force.”
Clellan recognized two Soldiers during her visit for their outstanding performance and contribution to the mission. U.S. Army Sgt. Johnathan Pace, senior information technology specialist, was recognized because of his ability to do any job thrown in his direction, an especially impressive skillset coming from a medical background, according to U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Olivo, IT Non-commissioned Officer in charge.
Clellan also recognized U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Francisco Marrero, training exercises and mobilizations NCOIC, for the quantity and complexity of the tasks he completes and his 18 years of dedication to the brigade. Marrero is a stellar example of specialized experience gained from service in both Colorado and Fort Greely, Alaska, home of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion, a subordinate battalion of the 100th MDB, said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Derrick Holmes, operations sergeant major.
“I want them to know how proud I am of them because what they do every day impacts our national defense strategy,” Clellan said. “I'm very proud of them. I'm proud of the work they do. I'm proud of their service. I know that their families sacrifice when they're on crew through the holidays, and I recognize that. I value them. I value the fact that they choose to stay in the guard and do this mission.”