1st ACB completes third successful deployment
May 24, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - After three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade can claim to have made a significant impact in providing security to the Iraqi population.
Each deployment over the city of Baghdad was difficult and challenging in its own way, but the deployment was marked by a strategic national election and a first class partnership with the Iraqi Air Force.
"The significance of the deployment revolved around quality air-ground integration with our ground...forces," said Col. Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland, commander, 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division. "Mutual trust plus personal relationships enabled AGI and key partnerships."
The ACB supported over 13 brigade combat teams and established a dynamic partnership with the Iraqi Air Force - which was one of a kind, Gabram continued.
"To help the Iraqi Air Force support its own population, we spent 12 months training with the aviators and Iraqi ground forces to increase its ability in being a viable security asset for the country," said Gabram, who added the training was highlighted by the fact all security for the March 7 election was provided by the Iraqi Army and IqAF.
"Hopefully we pushed the ball down the field so the 1st Infantry Division, who we TOA'ed (transfer of authority) with, can pick the ball up and take it to the next level," he said.
The relief in place with the 1st ID was outstanding, providing the U.S. Division-Center commander seamless mission support.
"Professionally handling the three week process of handing over the mission to the incoming unit is the mark of a professional unit," said Gabram. "Both units worked towards the same goal of being able to provide quality air support for the ground forces."
The 1st ACB has now left an indelible mark on Iraq over its three deployments, with all of them at Camp Taji, Iraq, in the Baghdad area of operations.
"Three tours over Baghdad is pretty significant ... there aren't a lot of units that have deployed to the same location that number of times," said Gabram. "When you have 275,000 hours in three separate deployments...the presence and deterrence that we provided for our own ground brothers, the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi people are significant to the strategic picture and purpose in Iraq."
Gabram was proud of how well the 1st ACB worked together during OIF 09-10, which would be the lasting impression of the deployment.
Through constant vigilance and determination the ACB safely brought home all its aircrew members and aircraft, flying over 68,000 hours in 12 months, Gabram added.
"I think the legacy of this brigade coming out of this deployment was marked by high standards and discipline working as a team," Gabram said. "I was extremely proud about how all the battalions worked together and how they approached every task - it was always all about the team."