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    101st Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new commander

    101st Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new commander

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Lerone Simmons | Col. Matthew R. Weinshel assumes command of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Kristoffer Sibbaluca 

    U.S. Forces Afghanistan

    The brigade, as well as senior leaders from United States Forces – Afghanistan, bid farewell to outgoing Col. Craig J. Alia after his 30 months in command and welcomed the new commander, Col. Mathew Weinshel. Weinshel assumed command of the only combat aviation brigade responsible for supporting the entire combined joint operations area – Afghanistan.

    Presiding over the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, Resolute Support deputy chief of staff for operations and 101st Abn. Div. commander, highlighted the successes of the brigade under Alia’s leadership while charging Weinshel to fulfill his destiny as the new commander.

    “This gives us an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments not only of Craig as he leaves command and welcome Matt into command, but that of the entire brigade and what they have been able to accomplish,” said Poppas.

    During his speech, Poppas recognized Soldiers across the Destiny formation for their contributions to the brigade, from the pilots and crew chiefs, to mechanics, petroleum supply specialists and human resource personnel.

    “This is the [only] aviation brigade of the world’s only air assault division, and that’s absolutely important,” said Poppas during the ceremony. “It’s no surprise that the Wings of Destiny has led [Forces Command] in the number of hours flown, and in the type of missions we’ve executed. It’s no small part because of the non-stop support that Craig and his team continued to provide to the brigades back home [at Fort Campbell, Kentucky] and to the divisions throughout the Army.”

    Alia will move on to serve as the Chief of Staff for Army Future Vertical Lift in Huntsville, Alabama.

    Nearly three months into the unit’s deployment, Task Force Destiny looks to the future with its new commander at the controls. Poppas and Alia both shared the same sentiment toward Weinshel of being the right leader to take the Destiny brigade to new heights.

    “With your incredible background, both conventional and special operations and certified in multiple airframes, you are going to prove extremely valuable as you synchronize all air support operations across Afghanistan,” Poppas said to the incoming commander.

    Weinshel, who commissioned into Aviation upon graduation from Boston University in 1995, is no stranger to the Fort Campbell community. From 2003 to 2006, he served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, returning 12 years later to command the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. This marks Weinshel’s fifth deployment to Southwest Asia, previously serving in Kabul from 2015-2016.

    Task Force Destiny’s robust fleet of utility, heavy lift, medical evacuation and attack helicopters are conducting missions regularly in support of Afghan, U.S. and coalition forces. Weinshel said it is a privilege to lead this task force and take part in its important mission.

    “There is no greater responsibility or honor than to command Soldiers in combat,” said Weinshel who also celebrated his birthday as he took command. “I pledge to provide the appropriate guidance, intent, and resources that enable you to execute the mission. Our purpose is embodied in our steadfast obligation to the ground forces we support. I know that you treat this obligation and sacred bond seriously.”



    Date Taken: 08.25.2018
    Date Posted: 08.27.2018 08:34
    Story ID: 290373
    Location: AF
    Hometown: FAIRFIELD, CT, US
    Hometown: FORT RUCKER, AL, US
    Hometown: HUNTSVILLE, AL, US
    Hometown: SADDLE BROOK, NJ, US

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