CAMP TAJI, Iraq - A Dec. 24 transfer of authority ceremony signaled the end of a 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, unit's 15-month deployment to Iraq.

The 3rd 'Spearhead' Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, relinquished authority of its mission in Multi-National Division-Baghdad to the 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, 'Storm Riders,' of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade.

In remarks during the ceremony, Lt. Col. Mike Shenk, 'Spearhead' battalion commander thanked his Soldiers for their hard work since the battalion stood up in April 2006 at Fort Hood and deployed in October 2006.

"We are genuinely proud of many things you have accomplished over the past 20 months since your activation on (April 16, 2006)," Shenk said.

Shenk told the Soldiers he was particularly proud of the fact that the battalion was bringing all of its Soldiers home and that the unit exceeded its reenlistment goals.

Additionally, he said he was proud of the skill they demonstrated during the deployment.

"You learned the standards of your profession and demonstrated the discipline to uphold them," he said. "You maintained the integrity to enforce discipline on yourselves, your peers, your subordinates and your superiors. You bounced back from adversity. You are recognized within the brigade and across the division for attention to detail and mission accomplishment."

Among the missions accomplished by the Spearhead Battalion were flying 24,400 hours in support of MND-B missions, moving 148,000 passengers and 1.1 million pounds of cargo and executing more than 170 air assaults.

The 'Storm Riders' battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jay Macklin, congratulated the Spearhead Battalion on its accomplishments during Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.

"You've done well; be proud of what you've accomplished here, and I thank you for your sacrifice and service," Macklin said.

Macklin congratulated his Soldiers on a successful in-theater move from Balad to Taji and on a second relief in place and transfer of authority since deploying in July. He told them to continue to train and learn.

"Always remember your training and constantly learn lessons and apply them in your tactics, techniques and procedures every day," he said.

During the transfer of authority ceremony, the 3rd Bn. 227th Aviation Regiment, assault helicopter battalion, cased its unit colors while the 3rd Bn. 158th Aviation Regiment, AHB uncased its colors. The 'Spearhead' battalion redeploys to Fort Hood, Texas, by mid-January.

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