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    The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade Lands In The Middle East

    The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade Lands In The Middle East

    Photo By Sgt. Emily Finn | A Missouri Army National Guard fueler assigned to A. Company, 935th Aviation Support...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Emily Finn 

    35th Combat Aviation Brigade

    TAJI, Iraq – Over 2,000 U.S. Army Soldiers and Airmen traveled to the Middle East in recent weeks to begin their deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) and Operation Spartan Shield (OSS).

    The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade’s (CAB) mission here is to provide aviation support to the ground forces throughout the OIR and OSS areas of operations by using several mixed-design aircrafts such as, Black Hawks, Chinooks, and Apaches.

    These three separate body styles translate to completely different mechanical and operational abilities. Often times, the units train independently of one another. However, once together, the brigade staff had to facilitate command and control and proper communication across the brigade to ensure the aircrews maintained safe flying procedures.

    “There are differences between aircraft,” said U.S. Army Col. Charles Hausman, Commander of the 35th CAB, headquartered in Sedalia, Missouri. “They fly at different speeds. They all have different missions. To be able to support one another, they have to understand the other person’s mission.”

    In order to facilitate such an understanding, the units began preparing for this deployment over a year ago. The CAB’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), from Sedalia, Missouri, and 935th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB), from Springfield, Missouri, completed a “Warfighter” training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in June of 2017. Since then they have completed multiple command post exercises, which provide training on the planning, coordination, command and control facets, and communication exercises, which test the unit’s communication abilities over a great distance, said Hausman.

    The training and preparation led to a culminating training event (CTE), completed at Fort Hood, Texas on July 26, 2018. The CTE brought together subordinate units that would be assigned to the CAB throughout the deployment.

    Early June 2018, Soldiers assigned to HHC, 35th CAB; 935th ASB; the 2-211th General Aviation Support Battalion (GSAB), from West Jordan, Utah; and the 1-108th Assault Helicopter Battalion, from Topeka, Kansas, arrived at Fort Hood. Their time there provided Soldiers and Airmen from 15 different states an opportunity to establish a foundation and develop working relationships required to build successful team cohesion.

    Generally, a combat aviation brigade is made up of an assault helicopter battalion, a general support aviation battalion, an aviation support battalion, an attack reconnaissance battalion, and a headquarters company, which provides command and control assets. While the mission is to provide aviation support, it takes more than pilots and crewmembers to fly a helicopter. The behind-the-scenes support personnel safeguard the operational abilities of the air crew and equipment.
    Within the 35th CAB you’ll find many different trades and skillsets, which all have separate, but necessary roles to support the organization. Some examples include: fuelers, truck drivers, logisticians, mechanics, and aviation operations specialists.

    Another supporting role within the CAB is the legal department. U.S. Army National Guard paralegal, Spc. Joseph Christensen, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-211th GSAB, first spoke with individuals whom would become his supervisors during a short phone call just mere weeks before meeting them at Fort Hood. He was then reassigned from his organic unit to work with other paralegals and lawyers, which make up the Judge Advocate General (JAG) section.

    “It was a little interesting leaving the GSAB and coming in with all new people,” said Christensen. “That was one of the harder things, I guess, was trying to figure out how I fit in with the 35th CAB people because a lot of them were from the same place.”

    Currently, the section is made up of two lawyers and four paralegals. Four of the six-person section are from Missouri.

    Christensen graduated from Advanced Individual Training mid-June 2017, earning him the military occupational specialty (MOS) of 27D, or paralegal specialist. Prior to this deployment, he had not had many opportunities to work with other service members in his field.

    “As soon as we got there, we got to do a lot of training, specifically for 27D that we don’t often times get at home,” he said. “So, being around other paralegals and around JAG officers was really nice for me to get some good training on my MOS and what we would be doing.”

    While the atmosphere was reserved and formal at first, it did not take long for everyone to get to know each other, said Christensen. They were quickly able to figure out how to get the job done.

    “When we first got here, again bringing folks together from all across the United States, everybody was very comfortable with what they did at their local location,” said Hausman. “They were very comfortable communicating with each other. But they were not so good at reaching out and talking to counterparts from other areas. Over time and experience, and getting to work with one another we were able to break down those walls, if you will, and get folks to open their eyes to the opportunities and the experience that is resident in this formation, just maybe not from their small corner of the organization.”

    Establishing this foundation prior to arrival was pivotal, because now, the 35th CAB is supporting two separate higher headquarters, one for OIR and the other for OSS. In addition, the brigade is spread out over two major locations, which consist of several smaller satellite locations. The teamwork and comradery they built while at Fort Hood is essential to accomplishing their missions here.



    Date Taken: 08.25.2018
    Date Posted: 09.02.2018 12:19
    Story ID: 291231
    Location: TAJI, IQ 
    Hometown: SEDALIA, MO, US
    Hometown: SPRINGFIELD, MO, US
    Hometown: TOPEKA, KS, US
    Hometown: WEST JORDAN, UT, US

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    The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade Lands In The Middle East