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1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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The USARAK Aviation Task Force (UATF) first began in February 2006 as Task Force 49 which was comprised of Headquarters and Headquarters Company Task Force 49, 1-52d General Support Aviation Battalion, 6-17th Cavalry Regiment, D-123 Assault Company (UH-60), C-123d Aviation Support Company (ASC), and elements from the 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (light), Hawaii.

In November 2007, HHC, Task Force 49 was restructured as a medium Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) headquarters. From November 2007 to February 2010, the task force deployed various aviation assets in support of operation Iraqi Freedom. The task force headquarters assumed the role as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq Aviation Brigade for 12 months. The task force assumed command of the multi-national division-center aviation brigade at Baghdad International Airport. During the deployment, the task force flew 80,000 hours, evacuated 4,250 patients, transported 23 million pounds of cargo, and moved 256,000 passengers.

The task force provided numerous units with aviation support for operation Iraqi Freedom. 6-17th Cavalry Regiment together with D-123 Aviation Regiment and Bravo/209 Aviation Maintenance Detachment deployed to northern Iraq from July 2008 to July 2009. Charlie Company, 1-52 Aviation deployed from November 2008 to November 2009, and flew over 1,000 combat medical evacuation missions to save countless lives in central Iraq. Alpha company, 1-52 Aviation deployed from February 2009 to February 2010 providing general aviation support to south and central Iraq. C-123 Aviation Support Company simultaneously supported forces deployed in Iraq as well as Task Force 49, and USARAK units in Alaska.

In August 2011, Task Force 49 was inactivated, and 16th Combat Aviation Brigade was activated then subsequently moved to Joint Base Lewis-Mcchord, Washington. As a result, the USARAK Aviation Task Force (UATF) was created to provide command and control, and to support the 1,200 Soldiers of 1-52 Aviation Regiment and 6-17 Cavalry Regiment assigned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Most recently the Task Force Headquarters supported the deployments of 1-52 Aviation Regiment to Afghanistan for 8 months in 2014, and 6-17 Cavalry Regiment to Korea for 9 months.

As part of the Aviation Restructuring Initiative, the Task Force is undergoing numerous changes. The change began with the deactivation of 6-17 Cavalry Regiment, and the activation of 1-25 Aviation Regiment which brings Apaches to Alaska. With the new battalion, D Company, 25th Aviation Regiment will provide Gray Eagle UAS capability. Both aviation units will receive aviation maintenance support from the 343rd AVIM Company and B Detachment, 209th Aviation Support Battalion. This restructuring will provide more Aviation Combat Power to the Pacific Region. The USARAK Aviation Task Force is committed to providing support to the Aviation assets of the Arctic Falcons.