By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot
The 277th Aviation Support Battalion, Task Force Mountain Eagle, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, officially replaced the 603rd ASB, TF Workhorse, 3rd CAB in a transfer of authority ceremony here Nov. 14.
TF Workhorse took charge of aviation support capabilities for 3rd CAB Nov. 29. Soon after the ceremony, their remaining soldiers will return to their home station of Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.
“The departure of the 603rd ASB from this mission marks the end of an absolutely phenomenal year of operations,” said U.S. Army Col. Pedro Almeida, 10th CAB, TF Falcon commander and native of New Bedford, Mass. “The 603rd ASB served as the backbone for aviation operations throughout Regional Command East over that period. The soldiers and leaders of this organization deserve tremendous credit for their unbelievable accomplishments.”
During its 12-month deployment, TF Workhorse provided logistic and sustainment support while operating at 14 outlying locations throughout Afghanistan. Daily combat operations included fueling, arming and maintaining aircraft; providing primary ground support and recovery capabilities, field feeding and medical support, passenger and cargo support; and signal and communication capabilities.
“Every part of TF Mountain Eagle will be fully engaged for the entire year supporting operations,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Woodard Hopkins III, 603rd ASB, TF Workhorse commander and a native of Fairfax, Va. “Every part of your task force will have an impact on the operations of the 10th CAB. When every soldier in your formation aggressively performs their individual tasks, this allows the brigade commander fully flex the combat power of the maneuver task forces.”
After redeploying from Iraq in October 2009, where they earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their accomplishments; and a short reset period, TF Mountain Eagle immediately began to train up for this Afghanistan mission. They conducted a convoy live-fire exercise, supported high-altitude mountain environment training at Fort Carson, Company, supported task force gunneries, and participated in an aviation training exercise at Fort Rucker, Ala.
“Lt. Col. Hopkins detailed the critical missions for each company and it all boiled down to our middle name – support!” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Albert Stiller, 277th ASB, TF Mountain Eagle commander and a native of Vacaville, Calif. “From managing fuel, ammo and parts throughout RC-East to repairing night-vision goggles, Lt. Col. Hopkins stated our formation is ready; he could see that from his perspective and I can see it from mine through the relief in place process.”