By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 15, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 15, 2013) -- As Soldiers lined in formation and aircraft from Fort Rucker's fleet adorned the field, hundreds gathered at Howze Field to welcome a new command team to the 110th Aviation Brigade.
The brigade received its new leaders during a change of command and responsibility ceremony Aug. 9 as Col. Jayson A. Altieri assumed command from Col. Kevin J. Christensen, and Command Sgt. Maj. Stanley D. Singell assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. John L. Chandler.
Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, was among the first to welcome the new team to Fort Rucker, as well as say his farewells to the outgoing leaders.
"It's not often that we change the commander and command sergeant major of a unit at the same time," said Mangum. "Today it is my honor to be the one to salute some farewells to the Christensens and Chandlers, and welcome the Altieris and Singells."
Both Altieri and Singell have extensive military careers with a wealth of leadership experience to bring to the installation, and Mangum said he was very confident in both of them.
"I know the Army has prepared you well for the task at hand, and I am confident that I will continue to sleep well at night with the brigade under your leadership," he said to the new command team. "Angel and I look forward to serving with and alongside you and your ladies as we move forward in our quest to take care of business, take care of Soldiers and take care of Families."
Altieri began his military service when he enlisted into the Army in 1984, and since then has served in many different positions ranging from an operational planner with the Multi-National Corps-Iraq in Camp Victory, Baghdad, during Operation Iraqi Freedom; to the deputy chief of staff for Strategic Plans, NATO Regional Command East, in Bagram, Afghanistan.
He is a Master Army Aviator rated in the OH-58 Kiowa, UH-1 Huey and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
Singell also entered the Army in 1984 and attended Basic Combat Training at Fort McClellan. He is no stranger to Fort Rucker as he trained at the installation for the OH-58A/C Helicopter Repairer Course Advanced Individual Training. His leadership career has taken him through various leadership positions through multiple units and countries before returning to Fort Rucker.
"It is a singular honor to be standing here on this beautiful morning leading the great Americans who you see before you," said Altieri during the ceremony. "The 110th Aviation Brigade is daily on the nation's front line teaching and mentoring Aviators … they are the tip of the spear of our United States Army. Command Sergeant Major Singell and I are eager to lead the sons and daughters of our nation, and continue building on its great future."
The 110th Avn. Bde. launches 500 aircraft a day, has trained nearly 4,500 students, runs five base fields and operates 16 stage fields throughout Southeast Alabama, said Mangum.
The unit flies or supports close to 1,000 flight hours per day across its 83,000 square-mile training area, added Christensen.
"You might think that mission load and risk exposure would keep me up at night," said the commanding general, "but thanks to the steadfast and tireless leadership of Colonel Christensen and Command Sergeant Major Chandler, I sleep quite well."
Mangum said due to the leadership of Christensen and Chandler, Fort Rucker has some of the lowest accident rates across the Army. Fort Rucker flies 25 percent of the Army's flying hours with an accident rate less than half the Army average, he said, adding that "it's the best accident rate we've experienced in the last 10 years."
That commitment to excellence is directly contributed to the teamwork of the entire brigade, said Christensen.
"Any success that this brigade has had is directly contributable to their unmatched skill and leadership," he said. "Teamwork is what makes USAACE such a great place and I'm truly blessed to have been surrounded by so much talent.
"I know that the legacy of Aviation training and excellence is in good hands as Jayson and Shelle assume the leadership of the Warrior brigade," Christensen continued as he spoke directly to Altieri. "Jayson, your leadership will take this unit to new levels of excellence. I've very much enjoyed our time together during the transition, and wish you and Command Sergeant Major Singell the very best."
Christensen will move on as the chief of the Force Support Division, Joint Chiefs of Staff J-8, at the Pentagon.