News: Pennsylvania National Guard's 28th Combat Aviation Brigade Assumes Authority of Multi-National Division - South Aviation Operations
Story by Sgt. Matthew Jones
CAMP ADDER, Iraq — The 28th Combat Aviation Brigade officially took control of aviation operations in Multi-National Division — South during a transfer-of-authority ceremony May 12.
The ceremony not only marked the changing of the guard, it also recognized the accomplishments, achievements and sacrifices of the 449th Theater Aviation Brigade during it's deployment to Baghdad International Airport and Camp Adder while looking forward to the continuation of progress by the Pennsylvania National Guard's 28th CAB.
"We are here to continue the mission that the 449th began months ago; the mission to provide aviation support to Multi-National Division — South," said Col. Teresa Gallagher, 28th CAB commander. "We are the division's enablers," she added.
The 28th CAB is made up of mostly National Guard members from several states. Units from New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon and Montana joined the Pennsylvania soldiers to complete the brigade, which has come to be known as Task Force Keystone during the deployment.
In preparation for the deployment, the 28th CAB has undertaken three aviation training exercises and a mobilization readiness exercise with outstanding results, said Lt. Col. Michael Koehler, brigade personnel officer.
"And although training in the brigade has focused on a possible employment in the time of war, its soldiers are frequently called on to rescue endangered citizens and perform other emergency missions across [Pennsylvania], to include flood relief and snow emergencies," said Koehler.
The CAB's deployment, which began with a late-January mobilization to Fort Sill, Okla., comes at a time when the Pennsylvania National Guard's 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team is also deployed. The 4,000-Soldier brigade is based in Camp Taji and is expected to remain in Iraq until early fall.
The 28th CAB will soon wear the keystone combat patch on their right sleeve, becoming only the third unit to do so since Sept. 11, 2001. The 56th SBCT, which deployed to Iraq in January, and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which deployed to Iraq for a year in 2005, following a six-month training period in Mississippi, are the only others to wear the 'bloody bucket' as a combat patch in recent years.
This work, Pennsylvania National Guard's 28th Combat Aviation Brigade Assumes Authority of Multi-National Division - South Aviation Operations, by SSG Matthew Jones, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.