ANSBACH, Germany -- The 12th Combat Aviation Brigade held a change of command ceremony on Katterbach Army Airfield, here, June 26.
Col. Kenneth Cole assumed command of the U.S. Army's only permanently stationed aviation brigade in Europe, from Col. Christopher W. Waters. Waters served 24 months as the brigade commander.
The Commander of U.S. Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, served as the reviewing officer.
Hodges spoke of the strategic necessity of Army Aviation in Europe. "We could have 10,000 tanks, but if they didn't see these aircraft out here...they wouldn't take us serious."
Waters praised the Soldiers, junior NCO's and officers in the 12th CAB for their flawless execution of over 180 exercises throughout Europe, all while geographically dispersed far away from traditional supply chains.
"For every maintainer and logistician, I want you to know that you are the cornerstone of all success in this CAB," said Waters. "You're the center of gravity for our aviation capacity."
A significant highlight from Waters' command was the 12th CAB led NATO Aviation Rotary Wing Summit, held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany which included twenty-one NATO and Allied partner nations. The summit established a framework for future joint interoperability, combined training opportunities, and a mutual understanding for improving freedom of maneuver throughout Europe.
The 12th CAB restructured in June of 2015 as part of the Army Aviation Restructuring Initiative, which reorganized and repositioned aviation assets across the Army.
Since its organization in 1965, the 12th CAB has continued to serve as a key member of the combined arms team, dedicated to the preservation of peace. The brigade's motto, "Wings of Victory," continues to exemplify the standard by which the brigade conducts its missions in support of the United States of America and our NATO allies.
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.