News: Apache helicopter battalion transfers authority in Kuwait
Story by Maj. Randall Stillinger
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - A ceremony was held Saturday to commemorate the transfer of authority from the 4th Battalion, 501st Attack-Reconnaissance Battalion to the 4th Battalion, 227th ARB.
The traditional event, which was held at the remote base just 15 miles from the Iraq border, is a visual symbol of the transfer from one command to another as one unit’s guidon is cased for the trip home and another is unfurled for the mission ahead.
The 4-501st, of the 1st Armored Division from Fort Bliss, Texas and nicknamed the “Pistoleros,” is headed home after a tremendously successful 9-month deployment. The incoming battalion is from the 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood and will serve as the Attack-Reconnaissance Battalion for the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade of the Texas Army National Guard. The 36th CAB is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Lt. Col. Chris Barnwell, commander of the outgoing 4-501st, said, “Today is an auspicious day for the Pistoleros as we relinquish our partnership and regional security responsibilities to the 4-227th, bid a fond farewell to Kuwait, and execute the final phase of our mission: redeployment.”
Among many other accomplishments, the 4-501st worked with seven countries in the region and partnered with the Kuwaiti air force on a regular basis. Joint operations with the U.S. Navy and Air Force were also a highlight of their tour, including working off of the USS Stennis, USS Ponce, USS Rushmore and the USS Green Bay.
Col. Rick Adams, commander of the 36th CAB, addressed the unit that will be heading home to their families soon, “You’re going home with dignity and a job well done here in Kuwait, and up and down the Arabian Peninsula.
“You blazed new trails,” Adams said. “You built this mission. You really started this from scratch and got it to where it is now.”
The 4-227th has deployed to the Middle East with their AH-64D Apache helicopters to conduct security cooperation, joint exercises, and training. Partnership events scheduled with nearby countries also promote security, stability and mutual interests in the region.
In closing, Lt. Col. Hank Perry, commander of the incoming 4-227th ARB, said, “Sir, Guns Attack is ready to take the mission. We will tirelessly posture for contingencies, partner with the Kuwaiti air force Apache squadrons, and maximize every enabler we can to train and sustain our individual and collective skills.”
Perry, who is stationed at Fort Hood is from Vista, Calif.
With the transfer of authority complete, there was one more thing left to do. In keeping with tradition, the 4-227th’s leadership cut a large cake with a cavalry saber, marking the official beginning of their deployment.
Date Posted:08.20.2013 01:30
Location:CAMP BUEHRING, KW
Hometown:FORT BLISS, TX, US
Hometown:FORT HOOD, TX, US
Hometown:HARKER HEIGHTS, TX, US
Hometown:KILLEEN, TX, US
Hometown:LOGAN, OH, US
Hometown:VISTA, CA, US