FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Surrounded by 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment Air Ambulance Detachment Soldiers, distinguished guests and Family, Maj. James G. Stanley took command of the "Flatiron" unit from Lt. Col. Kyle A. Patterson Feb. 11.

The unit is responsible for crash rescue support for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and provides help with Wiregrass region civilian medical emergencies.

Stanley, who served with the unit in 2003 and 2004, said he was honored to take command of it.

"Your professionalism and can-do spirit is apparent, and I am impressed. Your ranks are filled with some of the finest officers, NCOs (noncommissioned officers) and Soldiers I have ever encountered in my military career," he said during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum. "I look forward to our time together."

Stanley, who last served with the 101st Airborne Division, is joined at Fort Rucker by his wife, Allyson. Lt. Col. Joseph Matthew, 1st Bn., 223rd Avn. Regt. commander, said he embraces the opportunity to work with the Stanleys.

"You're not new to the team. I look forward to all you will accomplish. I promise both of you my support," he said.

Stanley replaces Patterson, who had a successful Flatiron command, Matthew said. In Patterson's two-year leadership, Flatiron Soldiers conducted about 500 crash life-flight missions and countless hours of training without Class A, B or C accidents, he said.

"I was impressed by your character. Your genuine concern showed because you cared for your Soldiers, and for a unit to be successful, a leader must be involved, be competent and care for its Soldiers," Matthew said of Patterson. "Job well done."

Matthew also praised Flatiron Soldiers.

"You make a difference every day as you save lives, and this is a rewarding gift we all receive," he said. "Additionally, you're undergoing a transformation as you field UH-72 Lakotas and tackle all the challenges therein."

Patterson, whose next assignment is Fort Drum, N.Y., said he enjoyed his time serving as Flatiron commander thanks to the Soldiers he served.

"The past two years, without a question, have been the most professionally satisfying time in my career," he said, noting he was impressed with his Soldiers' professionalism and dedication.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16