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Change of command for 172nd Mountain Infantry unit set Sunday in Brewer

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Members of the Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Mountain Infantry watch their fellow soldiers receive walking sticks from Galen Cole at the Collins Center for the Arts on Friday, January 7, 2011 during the Maine Army National Guard's Freedon Salute.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — The change of command ceremony for Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Mountain Infantry of the Maine Army National Guard will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will include the presentation of awards for bravery to unit members who deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.

The outgoing command team — Capt. Todd Abbott, the commander, and 1st Sgt. David Caswell, the senior non-commissioned officer — will hand over leadership of the infantry unit to Capt. Nehemiah Nattress, who will become commander, and 1st Sgt. Brian Baker, who will become the non-commissioned officer, during the ceremony.

The unit sent 152 Brewer-based soldiers to Afghanistan in 2009, with soldiers returning in groups at the end of November 2010. All units within the 3rd Battalion have been honored with the Valorous Unit Award for their dedicated and heroic service, Nattress said Thursday.

“It’s the equivalent of the silver star at the unit level,” the captain said. “It’s given for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. It’s a pretty big deal.”

The ceremony is scheduled to take place on the front lawn of the Brewer Armory, 133 Elm St.

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