ILLESHEIM, Germany — Despite restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade leadership has found many ways to maintain unit readiness while also taking appropriate measures to protect the health of their Soldiers within the European Theater.
“In response to COVID-19, we’ve instituted preventative measures to combat the spread of the virus,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Armstrong, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Command Sergeant Major, 3rd Infantry Division. “Soldiers are required to wash their hands upon entering and exiting all buildings within our footprint, wear a face covering in situations where we can't keep six-feet of distance from one another, and we’ve banned unofficial gatherings of more than two people.”
Implementing preventative measures such as these ensures that the 3rd CAB remains free of any COVID-19 cases, as well as the most lethal and agile force within the European Theater.
“COVID-19 has had very little impact on our mission here in Europe,” said Armstrong. “The biggest impact is that we’ve had to do a majority of our movements via helicopter versus ground movement, which ensures we limit our interactions with civilians, maintaining a COVID free environment.”
While enforcing strict social distancing, Marne Air continues to soar the skies, flying the most hours ever for a Rotational Aviation Force during the month of April.
“We flew more hours in April than any other Rotational Aviation Force that has served on Atlantic Resolve,” said Maj. Nicklaus Franck, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Operations Officer, 3rd Infantry Division. “That’s pretty impressive considering the ongoing COVID-19 precautions in place here in Europe. The embassies have even gotten involved to make sure we could fly across international borders.”
In addition to a record-breaking month of flying hours, 3rd CAB has been a hive of activity conducting company level training.
“Some significant training we have accomplished during COVID has been conducting company level Air Assaults in Romania, aerial gunnery tables in Germany, conducting aircraft phase maintenance and transporting Army medical supplies throughout the European Theater,” said Armstrong. “We’re the only CAB in the Army conducting this type of collective training.”
Marne Air Leadership will continue to take precautionary measures to protect the health of their force while maintaining combat readiness and deterring regional aggression here in Europe.
The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade is in Europe on a nine-month rotation as the aviation task force supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve. The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade will redeploy back to Hunter Army Airfield this summer.