KATTERBACH, Germany -- The 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, held a change of command ceremony, here, June 15, at Katterbach Army Airfield to welcome the incoming commander and farewell the outgoing command team.

Lt. Col. John Morris assumed command from Lt. Col. Ryan Welch. Welch served 24 months as the battalion commander.

The commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Col. Christopher Waters, presided over the ceremony.

"You've led Army Europe and the Army on the U.S.'s contribution to the NATO Readiness Action Plan and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force," said Waters.

During the last two years the Viper battalion has flown over 10,000 hours, pumped in excess of 1.5 million gallons of fuel, executed upwards of 30 multi-national operations, and supported an area 15 times greater than the size of Afghanistan.

Waters also praised the battalion maintainers from Delta Company, Echo Company and the 5th Detachment. He described the effort needed to feed, fuel and arm the 1st Bn., 3rd Avn. Regt., as nothing short of a magical feat, and the lynchpin of the battalion.

The battalion is also the recipient of the 2016 Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker overall "Top Aviation Battalion of the Year Award." The award is given on by the US Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Alabama.

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The 12th Combat Aviation Brigade trains and conducts aviation support across the full spectrum of unified land operations for United States Army Europe, European Command, NATO, and in support of CENTCOM, AFRICOM and other contingency locations around the globe.