BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – After several weeks of gradually taking over aviation missions in Regional Command – East, the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon, officially replaced the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, also known as TF Falcon, in a transfer of authority ceremony Nov. 10 at the Combined Joint Task Force - 101 Headquarters here.
The 3rd CAB deployed to RC-East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2009. During their 12-month deployment, the 3rd CAB provided direct and general support aviation operations to RC-East and RC-Capital. They also provided humanitarian assistance to Afghan and Pakistani citizens affected by an avalanche an earthquake and devastating floods. Following the ceremony, the brigade's soldiers left to their home station of Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.
“It has been an honor to command TF Falcon in combat,” said U.S. Army Col. Donald Galli, 3rd CAB commander, a native of Havertown, Pa. “I am even more honored to have served with each and every one of the Dog Face soldiers of TF Falcon - from Falcon 7 and my battalion command teams to my aircrews; from my staff to the soldiers turning a wrench, fueling an aircraft or serving a meal. I have been humbled by my soldiers’ tireless efforts and selfless service to our nation. They have proven to be the finest of Americans, the toughest of warriors and true American patriots. I thank them all for their service.”
The 10th CAB, constituted Aug. 21, 1965, has contributed significantly in combat from Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition, the brigade has been called upon to serve during Hurricane Andrew in Florida, in Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia. To prepare for this 12-month deployment, soldiers of 10th CAB trained in Fort Carson, Colo., Whiteface, N.Y., and Fort Rucker, Ala.
“For the soldiers of the 10th CAB, now TF Falcon; you have an enormous challenge facing you,” said U.S. Army Col. Pedro Almeida, 10th CAB commander, a native of New Bedford, Mass. “You have trained hard to be here, and you have done it exceptionally well. You will face difficulties and challenges you have never confronted before, and you will prevail. I am honored and privileged to be in the same formation with you and I have the utmost confidence in your ability to get the mission done.”
The 10th CAB is organized by five multifunctional task forces comprised of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and medical evacuation helicopters, AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters, CH-47D Chinook helicopters, and the OH-58 Kiowa Warriors. In addition, the 10th CAB benefits from the skills of their aviation support battalion, elements of an aerial exploitation brigade – TF ODIN-A, and aviation units from Czech Republic and South Korea.