3rd CAB pilot makes last flight before retirement
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christopher Batt says his final "goodbye" to his fellow Soldiers after taking his final flight as a Soldier, Aug. 16.

FORT STEWART, Ga. - Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Batt, brigade standardization pilot for the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, made his final flight as a Soldier in true Army Aviation style at Hunter Army Airfield, Aug. 16.

For his final flight before retirement later this month, Chief Warrant Officer Batt took to the sky in an AH-64D Apache, the unit's primary attack aircraft. Upon landing in front of the 3rd CAB hangar, he was greeted by a large crowd of Family, friends and fellow Soldiers, all cheering for the four-time combat veteran. Not only was he met by applause, but also with the traditional "hosing down" by Soldiers - according to tradition, a helicopter hose down occurs when a pilot/crew completes their last flight before retirement.

During Chief Warrant Officer Batt's 31-and-a-half years of service to the Army, he flew more than 5,500 flight hours, 2,000 combat flight hours, and more than 4,000 instructor pilot hours.

Throughout his career, Chief Warrant Officer Batt's professionalism, mission focus and integrity have been the foundation for his success; his attention to detail and his exemplary leadership ability was evident throughout his 30 years of service to our Nation.

After the hose down, the brigade took the opportunity to thank Chief Warrant Officer Batt for his service.

"The Army will absolutely miss Chris' depth and wealth of technical knowledge and tactical experience", said Col. Allan Pepin, 3rd CAB commander. "His friendship, warrior-ship and leadership had a significant impact on multiple generations of Aviation and Ground Force Soldiers. If you can have a mentor and friend in the same person consider yourself lucky, and Chris provided that daily."

With his wife, Sarah and daughter, Caroline, by his side, Chief Warrant Officer Batt thanked everyone for coming out to share his last flight as an Army pilot. After his retirement ceremony, he and his Family will remain in the Savannah area. But after seven plus years at Hunter Army Airfield and with the Army, he made one thing very clear.

"This will always be my home," he said.

Page last updated Thu August 25th, 2011 at 00:00