Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
Traverse City, Mich., native Col. Dan Shanahan, commander of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, prepares to pilot his last UH-60 Black Hawk flight over the skies of Baghdad Dec. 13 from the airfield at Camp Taji, Iraq. The brigade is conducting a relief in place with Task Force XII, which will assume the aviation mission for Multi-National Division-Baghdad in the coming days. Shanahan commanded about 3,000 Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry "Warrior" Brigade during a 15-month deployment that saw violence in Baghdad drop to the lowest levels in nearly two years. The brigade's Black Hawk fleet conducted missions including air medical evacuation, air assaults, commander and leader transportation and movement of personnel from base to base within the Baghdad area. Additionally, the brigade's AH-64D Apache helicopters provided support to ground forces and disrupted roadside bomb, mortar and rocket attacks on Iraqi civilians and coalition bases. The brigades CH-47D Chinooks transported hundreds of thousands of personnel and tens of thousands of tons of cargo.