Final Flight 1AD CAB sends last group for OEF
Spc. Jeanita C. Pisachubbe,1st AD, CAB Public Affairs:
In the early morning hours of Feb. 13, the final flight carrying Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division Soldiers took off and headed east toward Afghanistan.
After two months of numerous flights, the remaining task force Soldiers said goodbye to their families and friends at one of the Brigade’s hangars, boarded buses which transported them to the Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group, and then began their journey on what is slated to be a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The end of 2012 saw Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, CAB, 1st AD, deploy to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield. In total, about 1,600 of the CAB’s Soldiers are serving in a deployed environment. This is the first deployment for the Combat Aviation Brigade since its activation at Fort Bliss in September 2011.
Col. Lonnie G. Hibbard, CAB commander, said it is an ever-changing situation in both Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In regard to his deployed Soldiers, Hibbard said, “They have to remain flexible and adapt to the situation that presents itself.” He added the mission is, “to provide first-rate aviation support to the brigade combat teams and our customers in either theater, regardless of what is going on around us. We cannot compromise on that.”
Hibbard further emphasized his confidence in his deploying task forces as he spoke to the troops at the ADACG, calling them the best trained combat aviation brigade in the Army.
Brigade chaplain, Major Darren K. Coleman, shared some parting words of advice just moments before the Soldiers boarded the plane – words that he had imparted to all Iron Eagles deploying either in support of Operation Spartan Shield or Operation Enduring Freedom:
“To the right and to the left of each one of you is your brother and sister, take care of each other,” Coleman said to the rapt audience. “Be true to yourself, be true to each other, be true to your unit, be true to your spouse and be true to your god.”
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