News: Army Guard changes leadership in Rochester
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - New York Army National Guard soldiers from the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion welcome their new commander during a change of command ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility here this weekend.
WHAT: Change of Command Ceremony to formally recognize the transfer of authority from one commander to another.
WHO: Incoming commander Lt. Col. Jack James receives the colors and responsibilities of command from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Scott Norcutt in front of more than a hundred Soldiers of the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion.
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 from 11-12 a.m.
WHERE: Army Aviation Support Facility #2, Patriot Way, 76 Rochester, N.Y., 14624
There will be an opportunity to interview both Norcutt and James about their military careers and the role of the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion. Video opportunities include the transfer of the commands flag from the outgoing to the incoming commander and troops in formation.
Members of the media wishing to cover the ceremony must contact 1st Lt. Michael Jamieson at 716-359-2927 in order to gain access to this secure military facility.
As part of the change of command ceremony, Col. Mark Stryker, commander of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade and Maj. Gen. Steven Wickstrom, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division will review the change of leadership.
The 642nd Aviation Support Battalion
The 642nd Aviation Support Battalion trains and prepares its soldiers to deploy and provide aviation logistics and maintenance support to elements of an Army aviation task force. The unit consists of four support companies and two flight companies with approximately 700 soldiers.
The battalion headquarters is based in Rochester with individual companies in Rochester, Ronkonkoma, Dunkirk, Brooklyn and Olean.
Norcutt took command of the 642nd ASB in October 2008. Since that time period the 642nd has participated in several training exercises. In October 2009 the battalion assisted in Operation Vigilant Guard, the state's largest joint military and civil authority emergency response exercise, in Buffalo, N.Y. From October 2010 to September 2011, the 642nd ASB was a part of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Consequence Management Reaction Force (CCMRF).
While on the CCMRF mission, the battalion had to be trained and ready to respond to requests from civil authorities. In August 2011, elements of the 642nd ASB mobilized on state active duty in response to Hurricane Irene. In the final months of Norcutt's command, the 642nd assisted the 3-142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion during their pre-mobilization training in September 2011 in preparation for their upcoming deployment in support of Operation New Dawn.
Lt. Col. Scott Norcutt, outgoing commander
Scott Norcutt is a 1983 graduate of Kingston High School in Kingston, N.Y. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from SUNY Buffalo. He enlisted in the Army through the ROTC Simultaneous Membership Program in 1984 through Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. Norcutt transferred from the Army Reserves to the New York Army National Guard in January 1986 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1986, completing the Aviation Officers Basic Course in 1987 and Initial Entry Rotary Wing Flight School in 1988. Norcutt was then assigned as a section leader and then platoon leader in Company E, 142nd Aviation Battalion in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
In 1992, the unit reorganized and Norcutt was assigned as the intelligence officer (S2) for the 2nd Battalion, 142nd Aviation and in 1993 was promoted to captain. In 1995 the unit again reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 142nd Aviation, moved to Rochester, N.Y., and transitioned from flying the UH-1 Huey to flying the attack mission in the AH-1 Cobra. Norcutt would go on to command Company A, 1st Battalion, 142nd Aviation.
In 2002 Norcutt was appointed as the aviation maintenance officer in the 1st Battalion, 142nd Corps Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Battalion. He was promoted to major in 2003 and in 2004 deployed with the 1-142nd AVIM Bn. in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving in OIF, Norcutt received the Bronze Star medal for his meritorious service in a combat zone. After returning from Iraq, he became the executive officer for the 1-142nd AVIM Battalion.
Most recently, Norcutt served as the deputy director of Aviation and Safety, Joint Force Headquarters, New York Army National Guard.
Norcutt's other military awards include the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (3rd award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with M device), Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component's Overseas Training Ribbon (5th award), the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Senior Army Aviator Badge.
His military education includes the Aviation Officer's Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff Officers Course, and the Aviation Maintenance Managers Course.
Norcutt is the Training Manager for the Transportation Security Administration at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. He lives in East Amherst, N.Y., with his wife Connie and their three children, Kayleen, Bethany and Jeffrey.
Lt. Col. Jack James, incoming commander
Jack James' military career began when he was accepted to West Point in 1988. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and attended the Officer Basic Course and flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala. James qualified in the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and was assigned as executive officer, Company C, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Stanley, Korea. James was then assigned to 1st Battalion (Attack), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. There, James served as Company C "Outlaws" Attack Helicopter platoon leader, battalion assistant operations officer (S3), and Battalion Logistics Officer (S4). During this assignment, James deployed to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy in 1995.
After attending the AH-64 Apache Qualification Course, James was assigned to 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. He served as Squadron Assistant S3 before assuming command of R Troop "Renegades," an AH-64 attack helicopter troop. During this tour, James deployed his troop to Bosnia-Herzegovina for Operation Joint Forge, SFOR-7, for most of the year 2000.
In 2002, James joined the New York Army National Guard, serving as Battalion S2/3, 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, Brooklyn, N.Y. Subsequently, he was assigned as executive officer, 3rd Battalion (Assault), 142d Aviation Regiment, Latham, N.Y., and was promoted to major.
In 2006, he was selected as the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade operations officer (S3), where he has served until present. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2008. During these assignments, James was deeply involved in the planning and execution of numerous operations and training events, including state active duty mobilizations in support of JTF Empire Shield, New Horizons-Honduras, Operation Vigilant Guard, pre-mobilization training for 3-142nd Aviation, the CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force and several Army National Guard Aviation transformations.
James also served as the operations officer for NYARNG's aviation response to Hurricane Katrina, coordinating an aviation task force that grew to 28 aircraft and 500 soldiers from three states, providing relief to citizens of the Gulf Coast region in September 2005.
James is also a 2003 graduate of New York University, where he earned a Master of Business Administration. He is a graduate of several military schools including the Command & General Staff College, USAF Air War College, Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Armed Services Staff School and the Electronic Warfare/Aircraft Survivability Course. He is a current Pilot-in-Command in the UH-60 Black Hawk and is rated in the AH-64, AH-1, and UH-1 helicopters, as well as fixed wing aircraft.
His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, two National Defense Service Medals, two Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medals, Korea Defense Service Medal, two Humanitarian Service Medals, two Overseas Service Ribbons, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon and the NATO Medal. James also holds the Senior Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge.
He is married to the former Lesia Koropey. He has two daughters: Katherine and Juliana. In his civilian career, James is a corporate vice president at the New York Life Insurance Company.