Mississippi Guard battalion has new commander

A Mississippi Army National Guard unit which lost several of its soldiers during combat in Iraq two years ago has a new commander tonight.  Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Van assumed command of the 1st Battalion of the 155th Infantry during a brief ceremony this morning.

11 members of that outfit were killed in action when it was deployed to Iraq in 2005.  Many other soldiers in the 1st Battalion were also wounded.

Van takes over from Lieutenant Colonel John Rhodes, who led the 155th for three years.  He's now the Operations Officer for the overall 155th Brigade.

That unit is currently undergoing annual training at Camp Shelby.