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    Change of Command for the Ga. ARNG’s 1-171st Aviation Regiment

    Passing of the Colors

    Photo By Maj. William Carraway | Lieutenant Col. Barry Simmons, outgoing commander of the 1st Battalion 171st Aviation...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. William Carraway 

    Georgia National Guard

    Lieutenant Col. Barry Simmons relinquished command of the Marietta, Ga.-based 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment to Lt. Col. Christopher Buck during a ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center Feb. 9, 2019. Simmons has commanded the Dragon Masters of the 171st since June 2017 and mobilized Soldiers and aircraft of the 171st to the Country of Georgia for Noble Partner in 2018.

    “We are gathered here to celebrate the superb leadership of the command team of Michelle and Lt. Col. Barry Simmons over the past 18 months,” said Col. Jason Fryman, commander of the 78th Aviation Troop Command.” Fryman recognized the efforts of the 171st Aviation over Simmons’ command tenure whether supporting domestic emergency operations or overseas operations, notably during Noble Partner in 2018.

    “This is a time when the operational environment is as complex as ever,” said Fryman. “Readiness is our number one priority. We have to rely on character-driven leaders such as Lt. Col. Simmons. He has expertly led the battalion and maintained the highest standards of readiness and discipline. Any one of these single events is a monumental task in and of itself. But (Lt. Col. Simmons) accomplished them all while preparing the battalion for deployment.”

    Simmons entered military service in 1997 and commissioned in 1999 as a platoon leader in the 1st Battalion, 263rd Armor Regiment, South Carolina Army National Guard. The following year, Simmons transitioned to the Georgia Army National Guard and an aviation career flying out of Winder, Dobbins, and eventually the Clay National Guard Center. He deployed to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004 with the 148th Air Ambulance Company. His association with the 1-171st began with his assignment as commander of Company H, 171st from 2004 to 2009 during which time he deployed the company to Iraq from 2006 to 2007.

    Simmons recognized the support of his family and Soldiers of the 171st Aviation Regiment in his farewell remarks to the battalion.

    “My National Guard family is here: Soldiers of the 171st Aviation. I can think of no better group of people, friends, warriors, and servants of our nation to be here today with me,” said Simmons.

    Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Buck assumes command following a varied career in active and Guard aviation that has taken him from Fort Carson, Co. to the Clay National Guard Center. His most recent assignment was as the intelligence and operations officer for the 78th Aviation Troop Command. Buck deployed in support of Operation New Dawn from 2010 to 2011.

    Buck thanked the command team of the 78th Aviation Troop Command for the opportunity to take the 171st Aviation forward and congratulated Lt. Col. Simmons on a successful command tour.

    “Having been part of the brigade’s support staff for (Noble Partner 2018) I got to witness first hand the success of the battalion as they deployed to the country of Georgia to provide the first aviation support for any Noble Partner Exercise,” said Buck. “It was a great mission for the upcoming (deployment). The legacy of your command will be leaving the organization better. You were the perfect fit for this opportunity.”



    Date Taken: 02.09.2019
    Date Posted: 02.11.2019 14:38
    Story ID: 310322
    Location: MARIETTA, GA, US 

    Web Views: 149
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    Change of Command for the Ga. ARNG’s 1-171st Aviation Regiment