By Staff Sgt. Todd L. PouliotMay 23, 2013
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Leaders of Task Force Falcon, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, assumed Army aviation operations for eastern and northern Afghanistan during a transfer of authority ceremony May 19 at Bagram Airfield. During the ceremony, TF Falcon officially relieved Task Force Destiny, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, which flew more than 130,000 hours during its nine-month deployment.
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commander of Combined Joint Task Force -- 101 and Regional Command -- East, lauded TF Destiny's performance in Afghanistan.
"While operating in some of the most challenging terrain and weather, across both Regional Command -- East and Regional Command -- North, you supported both Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces, as well as a variety of special operations, through the execution of numerous air assaults, close combat attacks, counter-improvised explosive device operations, personnel recovery, armed escort, convoy security, and numerous other operations too many to name," McConville said. "Your efforts have enabled Afghan success and the success of the International Security Assistance Force."
McConville then welcomed Soldiers of Task Force Falcon, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, to the CJTF-101 and to the mission handed over to them by TF Destiny.
"We are very pleased to have the great 10th Combat Aviation Brigade joining us in RC-East, and we know they come highly trained, disciplined and fit and ready to pick up where the 101st CAB left off," he said. "Col. (David) Francis, you and your aviators know you are joining us at a very critical time in this campaign. The summer fighting season is upon us, and the Afghan National Security Forces are pressing the offensive."
Leading up to its current deployment, also slated for nine months, the Falcon Brigade provided both general and direct support to the 10th Mountain Division (LI) during four combined training center rotations, two high altitude mountainous environment training cycles, and three command post exercises. The brigade also supported Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and the presidential inauguration, in addition to proficiency training while completing numerous aerial gunneries and the fielding of the UH-60 Mike model helicopter.
"Today marks the beginning of the Falcon Brigade's fourth deployment to Afghanistan, its fifth in the war on (terrorism)," said Col. David J. Francis, TF Falcon and 10th CAB commander. "We will never forget the events that led our nation to war here, but we are also ready to assume this mission in a strategic environment that is different than at any other time in this war and at a crucial time period for the future of this country. The warriors of the 10th CAB will take on the challenges that lie ahead; we will fight and we will win!"
Task Force Falcon is composed of TF Tigershark, 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment; TF Knighthawk, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment; and TF Phoenix, 3-10 General Support Aviation Battalion, all from Fort Drum. The task force is augmented by TF Dragon, 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division CAB of Fort Bliss, Texas, and TF Iron Warrior 1st Battalion, 104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Pennsylvania National Guard.