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    NY National Guard aviation battalion welcomes new leadership

    NY Helicopter Battalion Welcomes New Leadership

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Matthew Gunther | New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Matthias Greene receives the battalion guidon of...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Matthew Gunther 

    New York National Guard

    RONKONKOMA, N.Y. – New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Regiment welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony October 17, 2020 at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Islip MacArthur International Airport.

    Lt. Col. Matthias Greene, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, assumed command of the battalion from Lt. Col. Jason Lefton.

    Greene commented on the unit morale and cohesion as his first impression of the aviation battalion.

    “I quickly observed the camaraderie and affection the troops in this battalion have for one another during my first drill with this unit,” Greene said. “Diversity is valued, and caring for each other and the local community is a top priority. These are all great things that I want to keep, going forward,” he added.

    “These things no doubt contribute to this battalion having the highest retention rate in the New York National Guard,” Greene said.

    Lefton welcomed the opportunity to pass command on to Greene since the two had trained together as Army aviators more than two decades ago.

    “Having worked with Lt. Col. Greene in the past, I have the utmost confidence that he will take this battalion to new heights,” Lefton said. “This battalion is in good and capable hands.”

    Lefton, a Niskayuna, New York resident, will now serve as the New York Army National Guard State Aviation Officer at the Joint Force Headquarters in Latham.

    Greene previously served at the National Guard Bureau headquarters and is currently attending the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
    Having served with Lefton in the past, Greene said assuming command from him meant a lot.

    “If not for Lefton mentoring me 20 years ago, and again more recently, I would not be in the New York National Guard and I would not be before you today,” Greene said. “So thank you. I will not let you down.”
    Greene led an air cavalry platoon during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as a member of the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. He served with that unit in Iraq for a second deployment in 2006-2007.

    In 2009 he deployed to Afghanistan as commander of a Wyoming Army National Guard Medical Evacuation Company.

    His awards include the Air Medal, the Bronze Star, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the NATO Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Master Army Aviator Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

    The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Attack Helicopter Battalion traces its heritage back to 1947 with the formation of a fixed wing aviation detachment on Staten Island, New York.

    Over the past 25 years, missions of the battalion included deployments to Honduras and Nicaragua between 1999 and 2006, a mobilization and deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina 2002 and 2003, and border patrols along the US - Mexican border 2006.

    In May 2007, the unit received its mobilization alert order prepping it to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion deployed to Iraq from August 2008 to May of 2009. Aircrews and Soldiers served in Baghdad and other locations in southern Iraq, supporting the 10th Mountain Division.

    The battalion also provided support during numerous state emergency response missions, including the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, deploying aircraft to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricanes Irene and Lee in 2011, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and a deployment to Puerto Rico in 2017 to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

    The battalion has two flight companies in New York, one based at Islip MacArthur International Airport in Ronkonkoma and another at Albany International Airport in Latham.

    The battalion's third flight company is divided between the Maine and Connecticut Army National Guard.



    Date Taken: 10.17.2020
    Date Posted: 10.19.2020 11:13
    Story ID: 381209
    Location: RONKONKOMA, NY, US 

    Web Views: 448
    Downloads: 0