News: MEDEVAC company transfers authority in Kuwait
Story by Maj. Randall Stillinger
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - A ceremony was held on Friday to commemorate the transfer of authority from one section of Charlie Company, 2-238th MEDEVAC to another.
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 for the company, which is based in Shelbyville, Ind.
In 2011, the company was divided into “phases” to cover two 9-month periods, referred to as Phase 1 and Phase 2.
The outgoing unit from the Indiana Army National Guard is headed home after a tremendously successful 9-month deployment to the Middle East.
The incoming unit is composed of Army National Guard soldiers from Indiana and Kentucky. They will serve as the Medical Evacuation company for the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) of the Texas Army National Guard, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Maj. Bryon Blohm, commander of the outgoing unit, said, “To Phase 2, welcome. We hand the torch to you. We thank you and we still support you even though we’re moving home. We’ll be there ready to receive you.”
Among many other accomplishments, Charlie Company worked with several 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 several ships in the Arabian Gulf.
Lt. Col. Jamie Wilkins, Commander of the 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion, addressed the outgoing unit, “I want to thank each and every one of you for all the effort you put in, for the sacrifice, and being away from your family and friends, but you’ll be back home soon. I hope you have a safe trip.”
The incoming unit has deployed to the Middle East with their UH-60 “Blackhawk” 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, Capt. Scott Oden, commander of the incoming unit, said, “I know there will be challenges ahead as well, but I’m confident that you will do an outstanding job.”
Oden, who is from Indianapolis, Ind., said that he is confident knowing that any soldier here in Kuwait, or wherever we are tasked, will know that there is MEDEVAC available within the hour to get them to the level of care that they need to survive.