BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Rarely are battalion commanders changed during deployment. However, Task Force ODIN-A (Observe, Detect, Identify, Neutralize – Afghanistan), 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Falcon, changed commanders, May 3, at Bagram Airfield.
Outgoing commander, U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Hinck, will be taking a position at the headquarters of U.S. Army Forces Command in Atlanta, Ga., and for the 30 days before the new commander arrives in country, U.S Army Maj. Brian Wallace, the executive officer of TF ODIN-A, will take command.
"It's a little different with me taking command because unlike a new commander I've been here and I know the people," said Wallace. "I feel privileged and honored to take command of TF ODIN-A. I understand the importance of TF ODIN-A with this being the first TF ODIN in Afghanistan."
Changes of command ceremonies during deployments are uncommon as most units arrive and depart as a whole. However, three weeks ago Hinck learned he would become the personal aide to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James Thurman who is the incoming commander of FORSCOM.
"Leaving the formation is bittersweet but I'm leaving the Soldiers in good hands with Command Sgt. Maj. [Terry] Sparks, and Maj. Wallace," said Hinck.
The ceremony included speeches from Hinck, Wallace in addition to Col. Don Galli, commander of the 3rd CAB, TF Falcon.
"Under [Hinck's] leadership, TF ODIN-A built a strong bench of quality officers," said Galli. "One of those officers is Maj. Brian Wallace. [Wallace] is an exceptional officer and aviator and the right choice for the job of leading ODIN-A for the next month."