Today marks the end of a small but significant chapter in Army history.
The 201st Expeditionary Intelligence Brigade's C/52 Long Range Surveillance Company will be inactivated.
"We're the last to inactivate," commented Capt. Daniel Baker, as he and some soldiers attached to the company's mountain platoon rappelled off a 40-foot tower.
"What we're doing here is just having a bit of fun and camaraderie before moving on."
The inactivation marks the end of the Army's use of dismounted land-based reconnaissance forces as a conventional mode of warfare.
LRS teams have contributed significantly in playing a crucial role in gathering intelligence, performing surveillance and conducting reconnaissance work since the Vietnam War through Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
To mark the end of the unit, its soldiers and family members took part in some activities from firing a machine gun to negotiating an obstacle course.
But on the rappelling tower on a frosty morning, only about a dozen soldiers grabbed the opportunity to rappel, take selfies and have a good time.
"It doesn't get any better than this," one soldier said, as he began his rappel.
"I am going to miss this unit."
The inactivation ceremony is Thursday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. For more information, call 253.477.4452 or 858.395.4007.
A member of the Mountain Platoon, C/52 Long Range Surveillance Company, rappels down a rope during before the unit’s inactivation. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson