Aviation Battalion conducts ceremony to note its upcoming deployment to Iraq
The color guard and company commanders of the 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation salute during the unit's deployment ceremony at Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany, July 11. The battalion will soon head to Iraq for a deployment of up to 15 months.

ILLESHEIM, Germany -- The 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation conducted a ceremony at the airfield on Storck Barracks here July 11 signifying its impending deployment to Iraq.

The ceremony marked the end of six months of intensive pre-deployment training, which included logging thousands of flight hours, driving tens of thousands of miles, qualifying in every weapons system in the battalion's inventory, and completing convoy live-fire and helicopter gunnery training and a Mission Rehearsal Exercise.

With all that accomplished, the unit is well-prepared for its deployment, said Lt. Col. Brian Dillon, the 3-159th commander.

"The Soldiers of this battalion performed superbly during each of these training events, and we are certainly prepared to begin the next phase of this operation.

"We want to be prepared as far as possible to start the first day in Iraq ready to execute the mission," said Dillon.

The colonel also stressed the importance of looking after the well-being of the battalion Soldiers and Family members who will remain in Germany during the deployment.

"Our minds will be at peace, knowing that our Families will be supported by a strong rear detachment, our redeploying brigade headquarters and sister battalion (the 2-159th Aviation)," Dillon said.

"It just shows another unit that has been put together with great leaders, a great training plan, and a great support system, not only from the community, but from the Family Readiness Groups and the brigade rear detachment. It is a total team effort to get them ready.

"I feel very confident. This is a truly well-trained and ... equipped battalion to send 'downrange,'" said Lt. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, V Corps commanding general and reviewing official for the ceremony.

"I have no doubt that they will succeed to the standard with everything they will do in Iraq," he added.

Dillon promised the battalion's Families that the unit will do all it can to bring its Soldiers home safely from their deployment, and asked them to be safe as well.

"I want to assure each Family member today that while deployed we will approach each task with caution, mindful of the risk we take. We ask that you do the same in your daily activities, wherever you are during the time that we are away," Dillon said.

Page last updated Thu July 24th, 2008 at 06:13