HOHENFELS, Germany—1st Air Cavalry Brigade held a change of command ceremony yesterday between outgoing commander Lt. Col. Matthew Minear and incoming commander Lt. Col. Robert Sickler.
The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (1ACB) commander Col. Reggie Harper hosted the event held appropriately in an aircraft hangar against a backdrop of two AH-64 Apaches and an RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle.
“The Palehorse Troopers were fortunate to have Lt. Col. Minear at the helm for the last two years,” stated Harper. “Under Matt’s leadership, the Palehorse Squadron quickly reset from their deployment to Korea, trained relentlessly with one gunnery per quarter, led the way in the 1st Cavalry Division’s People First initiatives and deployed just over 15 months later to Europe.”
“I want to recognize the Palehorse Troopers you see standing in formation and the others they represent across Europe standing watch and keeping the faith together with our NATO partners at a critical time in history,” Harper continued.
7-17 Cavalry Squadron “Palehorse” is truly one of the most battle-tested aviation units in the U.S. Army, etching its legacy during Vietnam and the Global War on Terror. The squadron is currently deployed as part of 1ACB throughout Europe for Atlantic Resolve.
“Our Army and this unit are about people, not the aircraft we fly or the vehicles we drive,” Minear stated during his remarks. “The Troopers stand ready to defend what we hold true, an ideal that is a rallying cry for countries across the world, and an Army that others want to emulate.”
Minear’s next position is as a student at the Senior Service College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
During the current rotation, the strategic placement of 7-17’s AH-64 Apache helicopters have provided an unmatched deterrence and defense posture for the U.S. military and its NATO partners and allies.
Lt. Col. Sickler, an AH-64 pilot, comes to “Air Cav” after serving as the Concepts and Innovation branch chief in the United States Army Europe- Africa G5 plans division.
“When our nation needed to move a lethal fighting force across a continent with almost no notice in order to achieve strategic objectives, it called on Task Force Palehorse,” Sickler said during his speech. “The international situation remains dynamic, and I am proud to be joining a team that is without exaggeration the vanguard of freedom in our world.”
Sickler has an extensive resume as both an attack pilot, operations officer and former aide de camp for the commanding general of the U.S. Aviation Center of Excellence. His assignments include time as the 2-25 Assault Helicopter Battalion executive officer and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade as both operations officer and executive officer. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy, a Master of Military Studies from Marine Corps University and a doctorate from Arizona State University.
The 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, will replace the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade later this year to support the United States’ commitment to Atlantic Resolve.
For more information about Atlantic Resolve, visit https://www.europeafrica.army.mil/AtlanticResolve/