News: The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade cases its colors
Story by Capt. Kerri Brantley
FORT HOOD, Texas - The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade from the Missouri Army National Guard, has officially transferred authority for command responsibility of Army Aviation Assets to the 36th CAB from the Texas Army National Guard.
The 35th CAB concluded its nine-month deployment rotation to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Enduring Freedom, April 18, 2013.
This has been a historic deployment, with both immediate impacts as well as lasting impacts. The 35th CAB has trained hard and done amazing things with our partner nations.
This unit was the first CAB to be deployed strictly to Kuwait for this mission, to build and maintain partnerships in the Army Central Command area of responsibility to promote peace and stability in the region.
The 35th CAB broke new ground here, set the stage for years to come by conducted training and missions that are not doctrinal Army Aviation tasks.
"I have done things here that I never dreamt I would do in my lifetime," said Col. Mark McLemore, 35th CAB commander. "I did things like landing a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on an U.S. Navy ship, to leading an array of missions with the Kuwaiti military and others in the region. We also broke ground in the overwater personal recovery, something that Army Aviation hasn't done in the past."
When in Kuwait, the 35th CAB continued to rise to new challenges, conducted joint training with the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force; as well as conducted combined arms live-fire exercises with sister brigades and regional partners.
The astounding array of mission this brigade has accomplished, proved to be a valuable asset to ARCENT as being a highly capable, adaptable and forward-thinking aviation unit in the theater of operations.
"The brigade flew over 11,000 hours while deployed and did not have one class-A accident," said Brig. Gen. Charles Taylor, ARCENT chief-of-staff. "That proves that safety was a priority to this command."
"I have had the privileged of listening to Maj. Gen. Cheek, Task Force Spartan Shield 3.1 Commander, speaking highly about the accomplishments, the out-of-the-box thinking seen time and time again with this unit, and the professionalism as they executed each and every task given to them," said Taylor.
The 36th CAB will fall into the execution phase of a partnership planned and prepped for them by the 35th CAB. During the relief-in-place process, not only did the soldiers of the 35th CAB train the 36th CAB on daily operations and procedures, but also briefed them on a big partnership mission to be conducted soon.
This type of transition speaks true to the reputation that the 35th CAB is known for; capable, adaptable, highly trained, and highly professional to ensure the success of the mission that was pioneered by them, which is a strong foundation left for it's successors to build upon.