By Spc. Thomas ScaggsNovember 15, 2017
FORT DRUM, New York -- 10th Combat Aviation Brigade uncased its colors during a redeployment ceremony at Fort Drum, New York, on November 9, officially marking the unit's return from Europe supporting Atlantic Resolve.
The brigade was the first rotational aviation brigade deployed to support U.S. Army Europe's regionally aligned forces, a strategy to reassure NATO Allies of the United States' commitment to the alliance and to promote peace and stability in the region by deterring foreign aggression in light of Russia's recent actions in Eastern Europe.
"This is what it looks like to make history," said Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division (LI). "All over Eastern Europe, from Estonia to Greece, from Germany to Bulgaria, where our Allies need assuring and where we needed to deter our adversaries, there was a member of the 10th Mountain Combat Aviation Brigade doing just that."
During the nine-month rotation, 10th CAB headquarters were based in Germany with task forces permanently assigned to Latvia, Poland, and Romania and training opportunities alongside NATO Allies taking place from the Netherlands to Bulgaria.
"For the last nine months, this brigade has been in more countries than Alexander the Great in his entire life," said Piatt. "Without a doubt, what you are looking at behind these colors is the most ready combat aviation brigade in the world and the most ready unit in the United States Army."
Readiness building throughout the rotation was at an all-time high due to a high operations tempo aided by a training climate that was hungry for the inclusion of aviation assets. The brigade participated in over 1,200 individual missions while in theater, clocking over ten thousand hours of aircrew flight training and almost eighty thousand hours of aircraft maintenance, to name a few.
Keeping with their mountain tough roots, the CAB refused to take the easy way out of any training opportunity, most notably during a convoy to Exercise Saber Guardian 17 in the Baltic Sea Region. The brigade empowered its junior leaders to take command of the convoys, most of which travelled over 1,300 miles both ways-not the mode of travel typically associated with an aviation unit.
Indeed, by the rotation's end, over one million miles had collectively been convoyed by the brigade and Soldiers on the ground and in the air were afforded the opportunity to grow professionally and represent the Division and the U.S. Army with distinction.
"I'm very confident that our unit, frankly, is an available unit now to the Army," said Col. Clair A. Gill, commander of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. "So if the Army needs a ready aviation brigade to deploy somewhere else in the world, they could call us and we would be ready."
The CAB is now awaiting the return of its pieces of equipment and aircraft, with plans already in the works to continue training upon their arrival back at Fort Drum.