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    28th ECAB officially released, completes Mideast mission

    Black Hawk flight

    Photo By Maj. Travis Mueller | A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, operated by Soldiers with the 28th Expeditionary Combat...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Travis Mueller 

    28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade

    The 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade formally transferred authority of their mission in the Middle East to the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade during a ceremony here this week.

    The ceremony included the casing of the 28th ECAB’s colors, a rallying flag, symbolizing that their deployed mission is complete and that they are to redeploy, or return, home. The 40th CAB uncased their colors as they began their service here.

    The 28th ECAB had been serving in the Middle East since late summer of 2020, to help increase regional security and peace in the region while serving U.S. interests. They supported the fight against Daesh, maintained a U.S. military posture in Southwest Asia and enhanced partnerships with U.S. allies.

    Their primary roles were aviation operations using UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopters, as well as some fixed-wing and unmanned aerial assets.

    28th ECAB Soldiers served in 13 locations across five different countries, flew over 30,000 flight hours, 19,000 passengers, 2.5 million pounds of cargo and performed 220 medevac missions. They drove over 190,000 miles, handled over $10 million in fuel and $13 million in ammunition, completed 28 aircraft phases with 125,000 maintenance man-hours and over 1200 ground work orders.

    They also played a key role in enhancing the interoperability capabilities between the U.S. and militaries from allied nations, working closely with aviators from the Italian army’s Airmobile Task Group Griffon and the Spanish army’s Task Force Toro.

    Sgt. Dominic Caccese held the 28th ECAB’s colors during the ceremony and watched that final task completed first-hand.

    “It felt great to see the colors cased because it's one of the last tasks to complete for us to go home,” said Caccese. “I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends again. I’m also looking forward to finishing my senior year of college.”

    One of the biggest challenges the brigade faced during the deployment was protecting Soldiers from COVID-19 while also doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus. According to the brigade medical operations officer, Capt. Catherine Green, it went beyond mask mandates.

    “There were constant changes to Army, CDC, DOD and theater guidance as well as restrictions of movement, quarantine and COVID-19 testing in response to outbreaks,” said Green. “COVID-19 impacted all areas of the Army and we had to assist command teams in more ways than we usually do.”

    Medical operations personnel worked with medical providers on overall patient tracking and contact tracing to control risk to the force. They also had to coordinate and track COVID-19 vaccinations amid limitations for storage and transport.

    “This was a joint, team effort. Not just me,” Green added. “I’m useless without my med team.”

    According to Col. Howard Lloyd, commander of the 28th ECAB, the brigade would not have been so successful were it not for the support and sacrifices of families, friends and employers back home.

    “28th ECAB Soldiers demonstrated the passion, desire and motivation required in a multifunctional task force to meet this complex, pandemic operating environment head-on,” said Lloyd. “I was blessed to be a part of this combined team and I look forward to a successful redeployment.”

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest, the 28th ECAB left their homes and families in July 2020 for training and in-processing at Fort Hood, Texas. Almost 1400 Soldiers came together from nine different states.

    When the 28th ECAB arrived in the Middle East, they took over for the 34th ECAB, a unit from Minnesota that had been serving here since late-2019.



    Date Taken: 05.16.2021
    Date Posted: 05.17.2021 06:33
    Story ID: 396548
    Location: CAMP BUEHRING, KW 

    Web Views: 575
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