Army Lt. Col. Brian Strider gives the command flag to Col. Brooks at the Army Geospatial Intelligence Battalion change of command ceremony July 2 at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Springfield, Virginia, headquarters. Strider’s gesture to Brooks symbolizes relinquishing command back to his superior. (Kevin Clark, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Office of Corporate Communications )
By Paul Frommelt, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Office of Corporate Communications
The Army Geospatial Intelligence Battalion, or AGB, ushered in a new era of leadership during a July 2 change of command ceremony at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Springfield, Virginia, headquarters. In the time-honored tradition of passing the colors, Lt. Col. Brian Strider transferred the responsibility and authority of command to Lt. Col. Alyssa Drew.
According to Col. Nichoel Brooks, commander of the Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center, of which AGB is a subordinate command, the battalion “performed magnificently” under Strider.
“We are proud of the phenomenal talents and accomplishments,” she said. “AGB punched above its weight every day.”
AGB traces its history back to 1975 with the Army Threat Analysis Center. In its current form under NGIC, AGB partners with NGA to provide geospatial intelligence production and training to all combatant commands. The battalion also produces imagery-derived products to deployed units around the world. Since 2011, the battalion has been headquartered at NGA in Springfield, Virginia.
“The environment has changed and will continue to change,” said Brooks, citing the military’s drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan and the need for flexible support. “[AGB] ensures that the Army has the actual intelligence when they need it and where they need it. The ability to be agile and adapt to the environment is crucial as we move forward.”
According to Brooks, during the two years under the command of Strider, the AGB “transformed with zero growth to handle an expanded mission.” She pointed to the expansion of AGB’s overhead persistent infrared, or OPIR, mission as an example of that transformation under Strider.
Brooks then challenged Drew to continue to build on the success of the battalion over the past two years.
“Live, breathe and pour your heart and soul into this mission,” she said.
Drew, a veteran of operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, was commissioned as a military intelligence officer in 1997 and was most recently the deputy chief of the Army GEOINT Office for the Army Intelligence and Security Command.
Following a heartfelt personal reflection in which he thanked his friends, co-workers and family, Strider offered advice to his replacement.
“Continue to test this workforce. They are going to continue to come through,” he said. “Praise them. Recognize them. Push them. This battalion is a machine. It just needs a tune up every now and then.”