News: Cased colors mark the end of the 1st ACB’s tour in Afghanistan
Story by Sgt. Richard Wrigley
CAMP MARMAL, Afghanistan -- As the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade’s Colors were cased and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade’s colors were unveiled, so did the official transfer of authority within Regional Command North change over from the 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division, to the 12th CAB here, May 24.
Afghan Army and coalition partners looked on, as soldiers of the 1st ACB and the 12th CAB commemorated the completion of their TOA during a symbolic ceremony. The event not only represented the change of responsibilities of the two storied units, but also gave time for reflection on the past year and successes of the 1st ACB.
The 1st ACB has accomplished much over the course of its tour explained Col. John Novalis II, a native of Williamsport, Pa., commander, 1st ACB prior to the ceremony.
The 1st ACB oversaw the successful deployment of five separate task forces, spread out across the battlefield in four of the six regional commands, hitting numerous milestones to include flying approximately 65,000 combat flight hours and pumping over 18 million gallons of fuel, said Novalis.
“These are just numbers though,” added Novalis, “the story these numbers tell is the continuous support we were able to provide to the ground-force commanders, engaging the enemy, moving soldiers and supplies across the battlefield; our ability to support the ground-force commander in his mission set was our greatest accomplishment, and the soldiers of the 1st ACB made that possible.”
The twofold message of the day seemed to be this and the success of the NATO partnership and coalition teamwork as highlighted by Maj. Gen. Erich Pfeffer, a native of Landshut, Germany, the commander for the International Security Assistance Force, Regional Command-North, Afghanistan.
“We are here to pay tribute to the accomplishments of the 1st ACB, say our farewells to our friends, and welcome our new comrades from 12th CAB,” said Pfeffer.
“Together [the coalition forces] have come this far as members of one team and with the help of 12th CAB we will carry on with the mission,” added Pfeffer.
The incoming commander, Col. Jay Voorhees, from Williamsburg Va., and commander of 12th CAB, assured the members of the various coalition forces in attendance as well as the members of the Afghan Army that, “The 12th CAB looks forward to continued teamwork, friendship, partnership, cooperation and seamless support to all.”
“It is an honor to be part of this team,” added Voorhees.
Novalis may have encapsulated the year and the day the best when he said, “I can honestly say, though we may speak a collection of languages, and our uniforms may be different, the soldiers are the same. They are a collection of individuals who stand for all that is good and right in our world; men and women who live the virtues of courage, patriotism and honor. They are simply the best. I and the 1st ACB are proud to have stood in their ranks.”