• CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Technical inspectors from both the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Mulit-National Division-Baghdad, and 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, complete a joint inspection of an AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 22.  The inspection is a necessary process for the aircraft to be transferred from 4th CAB to 1st ACB.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Technical inspectors from both...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Technical inspectors from both the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Mulit-National Division-Baghdad, and 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, complete a joint inspection of an AH-64D Apache attack...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Chief Warrant Officer 4 Charlie Dodd (left), from Little Rock, Ark., an AH-64D Apache attack helicopter pilot in the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infatnry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, conducts a final walk around of the aircraft as Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mike Leipold (right), from Holidays Berg, Pa., an Apache pilot in Compnay B, 4th Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, MND-B, sets up the front seat before a local area orientation, at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 23. For aviators of the 1st ACB, a local area orientation is required, as part of the relief in place, before they can replace the 4th CAB.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Chief Warrant Officer 4 Charlie...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Chief Warrant Officer 4 Charlie Dodd (left), from Little Rock, Ark., an AH-64D Apache attack helicopter pilot in the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infatnry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, conducts a final walk around of...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq—Private 1st Class Jonathan Chai, from Cape Grirardeau, Mo., an AH-64D Apache attack helicopter crew chief in Company D, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division—Baghdad, and Spc. Ray Bilodeau, from West Palm, Fla., an Apache crew chief in Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MND – B, work together on a main rotor head of an Apache, at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 22.  Soldiers of the 1st ACB are replacing Soldiers of the 4th CAB and will spend the next couple of weeks working together to pass along lessons learned during the relief in place process.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq—Private 1st Class Jonathan...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq—Private 1st Class Jonathan Chai, from Cape Grirardeau, Mo., an AH-64D Apache attack helicopter crew chief in Company D, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division—Baghdad, and Spc. Ray...

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - A great amount of knowledge of the surrounding area and operational success is gained by a unit when it is deployed to Iraq for a year.

Before the transfer of authority between the incoming and outgoing units takes place, there is a short time period where this critical information and lessons learned are exchanged. This time period is known as relief in place, or RIP.

For the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, the amount of information being passed along from the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, is a large amount, given the size of the air space 4th CAB covered around Baghdad.

"I think it is important for the [1st ACB] guys to get with our pilots that are flying on a daily basis so they can learn the hot spots of the area, some of the things we see as risks ... and see how we have (ran) this mission for the past year. We have been very succesful," said Captain Erin Braswell, from Houston, the commander for Company C "Medevac," 2nd Battalion, 4th CAB.

Until the transfer of authority takes place, 4th CAB still has control of the mission in MND - B.

Our main focus, as aviators, is to draw from the pool of knowledge 4th CAB has gained from their deployment over the last year, said Capt. Alec Finley, from Pensicola, Fla., commander of Co. C "Medevac," 2nd Bn., 1st ACB.

Because the pace of combat has slowed down quite considerably since our last deployment, veterans that are returning to Taji don't really know what to expect, said Finley.

But 4th CAB has been here for the last 12 months and it is their knowledge that will get 1st ACB through the transition.

"After TOA, if there are improvments that we think need to be made on certain things, we will change them, but I think the main point right now (is to understand) that 4th CAB has been doing it this way for a reason and they have been at it for a year now," said Finley. "I think they have a pretty good thing going."

Along with the information the 4th CAB will be sharing, they are also transfering aircraft to the 1st ACB during the RIP.

"It is important for the Technical Inspectors from each unit to work together to get the aircraft transferred," said Staff Sgt. Marvin Christy, from Dayton, Texas, a T.I. in Co. D, 1st Bn., 4th CAB.

Technical inspectors ensure the quality of work being done on the aircraft and are custodians of the extensive paperwork that shows the airworthiness of the helicopters.

"We work together to go through the entire airframe to see if any faults on the aircraft are on the books, to see if there are any critical issues and any flight issues," said Christy.

"Once we are finished on the aircraft, we will go back to the office and go through the historical records to make sure all of the paper work is correct there," he said. "This is a necessary step for continuity before we hand over the aircraft."

For the 1st ACB, it is important to get a good idea of problems that could arise with the aircraft.

"Finding any deficencies with the aircraft and getting them fixed before the aircraft transfer is important," said Staff Sgt. Dunstin Kamrowski, from Galesburg Mich., a T.I. in Co. D, 4th Bn., 1st ACB.

"The aircraft are in pretty good shape for being out here as long as they have, the hours they have flown and the mission that they had," said Kamrowski.

For the 4th CAB, it has been a long year and now going home is just around the corner.

"We are excited to see the Cav. guys coming in with such enthusiasm and chomping at the bit to do this mission," said Braswell.

However, it is bitter sweet giving up the mission after spending a year ironing out the kinks and doing it succesfully, but it was nice to see 1st Cav. patches come in, she said.

With a tenacity to do their job, the Soldiers of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade are just waiting for their chance to run operations.

"I am absolutley looking forward to grabbing the reigns and taking over, I live for this," said Kamrowski.

Page last updated Fri May 29th, 2009 at 13:45