Lt. Col. Abraham Osborn relinquished command of 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, part of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, to his executive officer Maj. David Endter on Thursday afternoon, June 23, 2022, in a ceremony at Katterbach Kaserne, Germany.
Osborn has seen the Army’s only short-range air defense battalion in Europe through COVID-19 lockdowns, the fielding of the Army’s first maneuver short-range air defense platoon, theater-wide air defense exercises with Allied and Partner nations, and multiple no-notice deployments to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank across five countries in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
In April 2021, while still under COVID restrictions and keeping up with vaccination requirements, 5-4 received the first four M-SHORAD prototypes at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach. Air defenders from 1st Platoon, Alpha Battery have spent the past year learning the Stryker platform, training on the weapons systems, and engaging live targets in multiple live-fire exercises.
In early February 2022, 5-4 deployed the first of five of its legacy Avenger short-range air defense platoons to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank, reassuring our Allies and sending an unambiguous message to any potential threat that the U.S. Army will defend every inch of NATO territory, including the skies.
In February and March this year, with ongoing deployments in other batteries, the M-SHORAD platoon, along with supporting elements from the battalion, drove from their home base in Germany all the way up to the north shore of Estonia, stopping in four NATO countries along the way to train with their fellow Allied air defenders as part of Exercise Saber Strike 22. The exercise culminated with a Stinger missile live-fire engaging drone targets over the Gulf of Finland and fully integrated air defense training with Swedish, Finnish, and Estonian air defense units in challenging winter conditions.
Under Osborn’s leadership, 5-4’s habitual training exercises with Ally and Partner nations laid the groundwork for the successful completion of Exercise Ramstein Legacy 2022, which completed in June. Ramstein Legacy is the largest ground-based integrated air and missile defense exercise in the world, bringing together Allied air and surface-based air and missile defense units under NATO command and control to build theater-wide procedural interoperability. The core goal of Ramstein Legacy is to build the capacity and capability to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations, and forces from air and missile threat or attack.
The Osborns are off to their next assignment at the U.S. Army War College. Lt. Col. Osborn relinquished command to his executive officer because there will be a roughly six-week gap before the new battalion commander arrives.