Col. Donald Brooks

Col. Donald K. Brooks, left, takes command of the 1st Space Brigade as he is presented the brigade's flag by Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command as CSM Kelly M. Hart looks on Friday, March 5, 2021 at Fort Carson.

A familiar face is returning to the 1st Space Brigade, this time as its commander.

Col. Donald K. Brooks took the reins of the Fort Carson brigade during an assumption of command ceremony March 5 at the mountain post. He previously commanded the 1st Space Battalion, part of the 1st Space Brigade, from July 2017 to June 2019.

“It is great to be back here on Fort Carson,” Brooks said.

Brooks most recently served as U.S. Space Command.

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“Thank you for your trust and confidence in allowing me the distinguished privilege to command this incredible brigade,” Brooks said. “I promise you, I will give 100 percent every day, to care for its soldiers, their families, as well as to train and prepare them for whatever lies ahead.”

The brigade helps run Army satellite payloads, warns of incoming enemy missiles and helps other units use satellites in combat.

Brooks said he is humbled and honored to be back in the ranks with those serving in the 1st Space Brigade.

“I’ve seen firsthand the business end of the capabilities you provide to joint and multinational warfighters,” Brooks said. “You truly are the cutting edge and the future of warfare, as we establish dominance in the space domain. What you do is critical to keep the peace and to ensure victory when called upon. I look forward to seeing where we take this brigade over the next two years.”

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The brigade includes the 1st Space Battalion, 2nd Space Battalion — the Army Reserve’s only space battalion — and the Colorado Army National Guard’s 117th Space Battalion.

About 750 of the brigade's soldiers and civilians are working at Fort Carson while roughly 1,200 soldiers are stationed in 11 different countries at 17 different locations around the globe for the unit, according to Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

“Together they make up the Army’s only brigade solely dedicated to the space domain,” Karbler said.

"It is a unique brigade with a critical no-fail mission. Despite many of the challenges of the past year, 1st Space Brigade has not missed a beat.”

The brigade’s previous commander, Col. Brian Bolio, served from last July to December before moving to another assignment within Army Space and Missile Defense Command. The brigade’s executive officer Lt. Col. Whitney Hall, an Army reservist, served as the interim commander until Brooks took command.

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“I really would be remiss if I did not recognize Lt. Col. Whitney Hall for the job that she did in a pretty tough time for the past two months,” Karbler said. “She helped making sure the brigade stayed on course. Job well done.”

Keeping tradition alive during the ceremony, Hall passed the brigade’s flag to Karbler who presented it to incoming commander Brooks, symbolizing the change of command.

Karbler was happy to welcome Brooks back to the brigade.

“We are very fortunate to have you taking charge of this team,” Karbler said.

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