STORCK BARRACKS, Germany—Ingoing and outgoing executive officers of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade take flight together for the first and last time.
Maj. Kurt Hunt and Maj. Chaz Allen have come a long way since their time together at flight school in 2007. Trained as OH-58 Kiowa pilots, they both moved to the UH-60 Blackhawk when the U.S. Army discontinued the Kiowa airframe. But they never piloted a flight together until now.
“We were always in separate cockpits as a wingman or on training missions,” said Allen. “But this is one where we were able to be inside the same cockpit on the same controls and performing all the crew coordination in that individual cockpit, individual aircraft level. It was such a blast.”
Allen replaces Hunt as the executive officer for Air Cav as the brigade continues with its Atlantic Resolve rotation in Europe. Hunt will return to Fort Hood and prepare to move on to his next assignment. It is the third career move where one has followed the other.
“Chaz is a great leader,” said Hunt. “He's going to impact the Soldiers’ lives for the better. He will see this brigade through the deployment and continue to have strategic impacts.”
Hunt said his time at Air Cav was made possible by the great people in the organization and getting the chance to be a part of history as it unfolded.
“The highlight for my time as the brigade executive officer was being the tip of the spear for aviation during a pivotal time,” Hunt said. “Having the ability to make a strategic impact for real worldwide events is something I will always cherish.”
“I think my biggest challenge in this role has been trying to understand the changing world,” Hunt continued. “As I was figuring it out for myself, I was also trying to educate other Soldiers in how we need to operate in this new environment. Helping others understand that their work is valued and that it has an impact for world events was a challenge.”
Hunt has been with the brigade over four years, having served in field-grade officer positions with 3-227th Assault Helicopter Battalion and 615th Aviation Support Battalion.
Allen moves up to the brigade executive officer role from 2-227th General Support Aviation Battalion.
“The executive officer role is hard enough on its own accord,” Allen said “So when you have a friend in that position, somebody you know, it takes away the sting of the demanding schedule. Instead of just a 12-hour day, it's 12 hours of getting after it with your buddy who's got your back. There is something satisfying about the shared sense of purpose. I will be saddened when Kurt redeploys but offered a thorough handover.”
Allen says he looks forward to carrying the torch with this great organization.
“The Air Cav Brigade is a tremendous organization because of the people,” said Allen. “I've had a chance to work with company members and battalion mates that are America's finest, absolute stalwarts. But I've also had a chance to see the brigade staff in action at various exercises, on the deployment and on multiple NATO missions. The brigade staff is filled with true professionals who care about their job and want to see the team be successful. So, the chance to go be part of that, at that level as the executive officer is a blessing. It's an opportunity. It's a challenge, and it's one that I'm eager to hop into.”