• CAMP TAJI, Iraq-From left to right, Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, the command sergeant major of the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavarly Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad; Colonel Douglas Gabram, commander of the 1st ACB; Command Sgt. Maj. Archie Davis, the command sergeant major of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MND-B; and Colonel Patrick Tierney, commander of the CAB, render salutes to the National Anthem during the transfer of authority ceremony, Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2. The TOA signifies that 1st ACB will assume command from the CAB for aviation missions in and around the Baghdad area.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-From left to right, Command...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-From left to right, Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, the command sergeant major of the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavarly Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad; Colonel Douglas Gabram, commander of the 1st ACB; Command Sgt. Maj...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq-The leadership of the Comabat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, case their unit's colors during a transfer of authority ceremony, Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2.  The CAB has completed their year-long rotation in Iraq and the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, MND - B, assumes command and takes up the aviation mission in and around the Baghdad area.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-The leadership of the Comabat...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-The leadership of the Comabat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, case their unit's colors during a transfer of authority ceremony, Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2. The CAB has completed their year-long...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Command groups from battalions within the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, uncover their colors during a transfer of authority ceremony, Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2. The ceremony signifies that the 1st ACB will assume command of combat aviation missions of the skies over Baghdad.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Command groups from battalions...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Command groups from battalions within the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, uncover their colors during a transfer of authority ceremony, Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2. The ceremony signifies that...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Campaign streamers fly as Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, of Dallas, the command sergeant major of the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, assits Colenel Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland, Ohio, commander of the the 1st ACB,  uncase their brigade colors during the transfer of authority ceremony, at Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2. The uncasing of the colors signifies the arrival of the 1st ACB and that they are ready to take over the mission.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Campaign streamers fly as...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Campaign streamers fly as Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, of Dallas, the command sergeant major of the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, assits Colenel Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland, Ohio...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Colonel Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland Ohio, the commander of the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, delivers a speech during the transfer of authority ceremony held on Camp Taji, Iraq, June 2. The 1st ACB takes over the mission that the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MND-B, has supported for the last 12 months. "We have assembled a great team here, it's our team and it's the First Team. [Maj. Gen. Bolger], the Air Cav is checking in," said Gabram.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Colonel Douglas Gabram, from...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq-Colonel Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland Ohio, the commander of the 1st Air Cavarly Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, delivers a speech during the transfer of authority ceremony held on Camp Taji, Iraq, June...

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - The distinctive yellow and red colors of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, were raised aloft the headquarters flagpole, June 2, as the brigade officially replaced the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MND-B, in a transfer of authority ceremony.

Col. Patrick Tierney, brigade commander, CAB, 4th ID, cased the CAB's colors, signifying the end of their year-long deployment, after which Col. Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland, Ohio, 1st ACB commander, 1st Cav. Div., MND - B, uncased the 1st ACB colors and assumed control of the aviation mission over Baghdad.

A host of guests, including Maj. Gen. Daniel Bolger, from Aurora, Ill, commanding general, 1st Cav. Div., MND - B, were present to witness the 1st ACB take the reins in what is the brigades third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Outgoing commander Tierney remarked that this was the second occasion the 1st ACB had replaced the CAB at Camp Taji and that transfer operations had occurred smoothly.

"The transfer should serve as point of inspiration because it exemplified the professionalism and dedication of all these aviation officers," Tierney said. "This is an exceptional team that has been bought together to replace us and the mission is in good hands."

Gabram praised the CAB Soldiers for their successful deployment and said the 1st ACB would continue the excellent work.

"We will lead with high standards, discipline and teamwork to aggressively support our brothers on the ground in employing our full spectrum of aviation capabilities," Gabram said.

The war in Iraq is not over and the environment is still dangerous, warned Gabram, who added there are still threats that exist to the 1st ACB.

"There are evil people who want to kill us while we provide security and protect the local population," Gabram said. "Our ground brothers are at risk and we will be beside them every step of the way."

Gabram said the 1st ACB would be deliberate and offensive in nature, with responsive attack weapons teams, precision air assaults, medical evacuation support and timely movement of Soldiers and supplies, while proudly displaying the 1st. Cav. Div. patch on their aircraft.

Bolger reinforced Gabram's comments and stated how important the 1st ACB is to the overall mission in Iraq, being one of the key aspects of the current campaign.

"Our aviation brigade is our strongest asset and our biggest overmatch against the enemy," Bolger said, following the conclusion of the ceremony. "The enemy we are fighting will never have the attack, assault and surveillance capabilities of our (1st) Air Cavalry Brigade."

The morale of Soldiers on the ground is also raised when they see the colors of the 1st Cav. Div., overhead in the skies, day and night, Bolger said.

"Especially in the daytime when we see that big patch on the nose, it lets us know who's coming," Bolger said. "It's a reminder we are never in this alone."

The other reminder, said Bolger, is the great tradition of the 1st Cav. Div.

"The 1st Cav. was the first airmobile division in the Army, and Army aviation has always been integral to what we do," Bolger said.

"The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade is what strengthens us," he said with confidence.

Page last updated Sat June 20th, 2009 at 15:47