By Spc. Joseph KnochNovember 6, 2019
ILLESHEIM, Germany -- Col. Bryan Chivers, commander of the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, welcomed Col. Michael S. McFadden, commander of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, and his Soldiers during a Transfer of Authority ceremony here Nov. 1.
During the fifth iteration of Atlantic Resolve, this ceremony marked the end of a nine-month rotation for 1st CAB Soldiers, out of Fort Riley, Kansas, and the beginning of 3rd CAB's rotation.
"We are extremely proud of our service and our contributions to this very important and strategic mission," Chivers said. "Our ground convoys drove over 145 thousand miles and we transported somewhere around eight thousand personnel including congressional delegations, U.S. Military leaders, and even top-level officials from some of our NATO allies."
Over the past nine months, 1st CAB participated in nine major exercises across Europe while supporting 21 nations in support of Atlantic Resolve as well as supporting the 75th anniversary of the D-Day liberation of France in June.
"As we hand the reins over of this Atlantic Resolve mission to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, I proudly reflect not only on our time served during this deployment but on our history in Europe," Chivers said. "Although the measurable impacts are great, the non-quantifiable impacts are even greater. We see that as the lasting peace and stability here throughout Europe."
U.S. NATO allies and partners are necessary for operations like Atlantic Resolve to be successful. Chivers said that he is thankful for the relationships he and his soldiers have made and shared throughout their time here.
"To our gracious guests across Europe, the Polish, the Latvians, the Romanians, and of course our awesome German hosts here in Illesheim, Thank you, we appreciate your support and all that you have done for this rotation of the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade.
3rd CAB, who arrived to Europe from Fort Stewart, Georgia, in early October and began gearing up for their mission in support of Atlantic Resolve. The first significant exercise they will participate in is Defender Europe 20.
"Our priorities are the assurance of our allies, to build the interoperability of our NATO allies and their capacities, and to build readiness of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade," McFadden said.
As a Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd CAB has brought with them AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, medevac teams equipped with the Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter, as well as Boeing CH-47 Chinooks and additional UH-60 Blackhawks with lift capabilities.
"A Combat Aviation Brigade brings a significant amount of capability to this region and to our forces here, and for some of our coalition partners it's a capability that many of them don't have," McFadden said. "So we hope to learn from them and help to build their capacity through training here."
In recognition of all that 1st CAB has done to aid Atlantic Resolve, McFadden expressed high hopes for 3rd CAB's rotation in continuation of the greater mission at hand.
"Right now we have forces in Greece and Romania, however throughout the nine months we are here, I anticipate conducting exercises throughout Europe to include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, and potentially some other countries as well."
McFadden said that 3rd CAB will be working closely with Germany to make sure that their expectations will be met.
"I hope that we can build great partnerships with our coalition partners. I hope to reassure them that the United States is here for NATO and that Army aviation is a significant capability that we can assist them with."