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    Task Force Godfather’s Southwest Asia aviation tour ends

    Task Force Godfather’s Southwest Asia aviation tour ends

    Photo By Capt. Aaron Shaffer | SOUTHWEST ASIA – Members of Foxtrot Co., 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Aaron Shaffer 

    35th Combat Aviation Brigade

    SOUTHWEST ASIA – U.S. Army Capt. James Burns, commander of Foxtrot Company, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, headquartered in Fort Hood, Texas, currently assigned to the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, Missouri Army National Guard, recently completed a transfer of authority ceremony.

    U.S. Army Capt. Chandler Williams, commander of Delta Company, 10th Aviation Regiment, headquartered in Fort Drum, New York, accepted operational control from Foxtrot Co.
    “I couldn't be more excited to command a Gray Eagle Company. A Gray Eagle company is exactly what I wanted to command, and a deployment is the ultimate environment to stretch the full capabilities of the platform and Soldiers,” said Williams.

    “As Delta Company, 10th Aviation Regiment assumes the mission, we look forward to working with them to expand upon the capabilities this platform can provide to the fight,” said U.S. Army Col. Charles Hausman, commander of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, also known as “Task Force Trailblazers.” “They are a motivated unit and I am confident they will do well at their mission.”

    Foxtrot Co., known here as Task Force Godfather, is a part of the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division, who completed aviation missions in support of Coalition efforts for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

    Godfather’s focus during this deployment was to provide an eye in the sky for Coalition forces using unmanned aircraft systems, also known as Grey Eagles. Their main efforts included reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and attack capabilities, which supported Coalition forces, said Burns.

    Burns is not a stranger to aviation operations. Completing a second deployment, his prior aviation experience provided him an unspoken awareness, which he used to help his unit prepare for this deployment.

    Burns said the war to defeat Daesh was coming to a swift close and he anticipated UAS assets would be extremely important as the war to defeat Daesh was ending. This in turn led to his prediction that the increased importance for UAS assets would translate to larger demands for Foxtrot Co.

    Despite increased demands and challenging shortages, Godfather completed historical achievements. “My soldiers set a new worldwide record for the most number of combat flight hours flown in a month by a Gray Eagle company back in July of 2018,” said Burns.

    Foxtrot Co. broke the record of combat flight hours flown in a month again in August of 2018. Within the approximately nine months here in the Middle East, Godfather completed over 14,000 flight hours conducting surveillance, security, and attack missions.

    “Foxtrot Company provided great support to the ground forces with their armed ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance] mission,” said Hausman. “Their 14,000-plus hours of flight time executed in support of the ground force commanders’ accounts for approximately fifty percent of all flight hours provided by Task Force Trailblazer.”

    Godfather was able to complete these achievements while exceeding a fully mission capable rating constant of ninety-five percent, even with heavy workload demands. “My company's performance by the numbers amply supports my belief that Foxtrot Co. is the best divisional Gray Eagle company, I feel extremely privileged to have such an excellent command,” said Burns.

    The operational tempo here is expected to continue onward to the Slayers team. “We expect a tough tour,” said Williams. He also said they will work hard to persevere any hardships, which may include weather, systems and networking difficulties, and maintenance.

    “The Godfather team is extremely proud of what they have accomplished, but even more excited to return home to family and friends,” said Burns. “We leave the fight in the very capable hands of our sister Gray Eagle company, the Delta Company, 10th Aviation Regiment ‘Slayers.’”



    Date Taken: 03.09.2019
    Date Posted: 03.09.2019 08:35
    Story ID: 313637

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