3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Arrives in Afghanistan


Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade present their colors during a transfer of authority ceremony at Bagram Airfield. (Photo by Spc. Monica K. Smith, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)
Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade present their colors during a transfer of authority ceremony at Bagram Airfield. (Photo by Spc. Monica K. Smith, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade uncased their colors in a transfer of authority ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Nov. 24.

The 3rd Infantry Division is a worldrenowned fighting organization that is known for two things: starting a fight, and finishing one,” said Col. Don Galli, commander of the 3rd CAB.

The majority of Soldiers from the 3rd CAB, or Task Force Falcon, based out of Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga., began arriving in late summer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“[The 159th CAB has] served our Nation and the cause of freedom in Afghanistan with honor and you have added to the legend of the 101st Airborne Division, Air Assault,” Galli said. “Your brigade has set the standard by which all of Army Aviation will be measured. Today, as we transfer authority from Task Force Thunder to Task Force Falcon, the records we seek to break are yours.”

Though the majority of the brigade arrived in November, components of the brigade began deploying from Hunter Army Airfield as early as September.

“All National Guard units have a deployment cycle of 12-months long, including their mobilization time, which results in about nine months in country before having to go home,” said 3rd CAB Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Stidley.

“Because their cycle is off from the CAB, we sent out our MEDEVAC Company ahead to take on the missions of the outgoing National Guard MEDEVAC company.”

The 3rd CAB is organized by four multifunctional task forces comprised of UH- 60 Black Hawk helicopters and MedEvac helicopters, AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters, CH-47D Chinook helicopters and the OH-58 Kiowa Warriors.

This deployment marks the brigade’s fourth deployment since 2003 in support of an Era of Persistent Conflict. The brigade’s previous deployments were during the initial campaign into Iraq in 2003, OIF III in 2005 and OIF V in 2007.

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