Task Force Falcon marks return from Afghanistan deployment
November 22, 2011
Task Force Falcon, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, uncased its colors during a ceremony Nov. 18 at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield. The ceremony not only marked the unit's return from a recent 12-month deployment to Afghan-istan, but also the completion of the brigade's second deployment in 24 months.
"Two years ago this week, I watched Col. Erik Peterson and Command Sgt. Maj. Ken Patton uncase these colors upon their return from Iraq, literally minutes before they were passed from Erik to me for the profound privilege of commanding this unit," said Col. Pedro Almeida, TF Falcon, 10th CAB commander.
TF Falcon, whose assets were spread over an area the size of Ohio, provided aviation support throughout Regional Command East -- Afghanistan.
"I can say with confidence that these Soldiers delivered what was needed, when it was needed and where it was needed, be it assault capability, aerial security, reconnaissance, command and control capacity, medical evacuation, resupply or VIP transport," Almeida said.
Almeida thanked the Families and friends who supported their Soldiers throughout the deployment and expressed his appreciation on behalf of the brigade to the organizations and individuals who supported the unit's Soldiers through the Adopt-a-Platoon program.
"All these groups were coordinated and organized by Col. (retired) Mike Plummer," he said. "Through his dedication, every platoon in the brigade had at least one sponsor. For all of you, we deeply thank you for your support."
Almeida said the past year was an important one for Afghanistan, and the impacts of this past year's actions would be crucial for setting the tone for the road ahead. Soldiers of TF Falcon clearly contributed to the momentum necessary to make a difference for the security of Afghanistan.
"From aircrew to mechanic, (from) battalion staff to motor pool, their contributions were exceptional," he said. "However, those accomplishments came at great cost."
The task force lost 12 Soldiers: Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dave Carter, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chris Thibodeau, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ken White, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brad Gaudet, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry Varnadore, 1st Sgt. Billy Joe Siercks, Staff Sgt. Robert Cowdrey, Sgt. Patrick Hamburger, Spc. Alexander Bennett and Spc. Spencer Duncan.
"For all the Families of our fallen heroes, you will always be in our thoughts," Almeida said. "Their sacrifices will not be forgotten by their unit, this brigade or our nation. They are and will remain heroes to all of us."