National Guard's 155th Brigade has new commander - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

National Guard's 155th Brigade has new commander

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Col. Jeffrey P. Van (center) assumes command of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team at Camp Shelby Friday. Col. Jeffrey P. Van (center) assumes command of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team at Camp Shelby Friday.
CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) -

Mississippi's largest National Guard unit has a new commander.

He's Col. Jeffrey P. Van of McComb and he's now the head of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team. He assumed command at a ceremony at Camp Shelby Friday morning.

He takes over for former commander Col. John M. Rhodes, who led the 155th for three years.

The unit, which deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2009, is currently undergoing annual training at the post. 3,600 soldiers are in the unit.

"It's the highest honor anybody can bestow upon a military leader is leading troops," said Van. "We just got fielded new tanks and new Bradley (fighting vehicles), so it's a great honor to be bestowed," he said.

"I've had the privilege of serving this brigade for 22 years," said Rhodes. I was a battalion commander when we deployed in 2005 and I was a deputy commander when we deployed in 2009. We've got the best equipment out there in the Army and we have trained on that, we've set the conditions for success to move forward and they will continue on just like we have been," he said.

Col. Rhodes will continue to serve in the Mississippi National Guard at Joint Forces Headquarters.

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