FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The C. Company "Nighthawks" of 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment stood up at an activation ceremony at Fort Rucker April 20 under the command of Capt. John A. Plitsch.

"As Army Aviation continues to become an ever-critical component of all Army Operations and we see an increase in the demand for training new Aviators in ever more complex aircraft, it is only logical that our training structure must evolve," said Lt. Col. Michael F. Burns, 1st Bn., 212th Avn. Regt. commander.

"Looking around this museum, it is easy to see that this is ultimately why we exist - to support our ground forces. As a main effort company, the Nighthawks will pursue this fundamental principle," Plitsch added.

C. Co. is charged with training U.S. Army and foreign military initial entry rotary wing students in Flight School XXI, which includes contact, instruments, basic combat skills, and night vision goggles to be dual qualified in both the UH-60A and UH-60M Black Hawks at Lowe Army Heliport.

"New Aviators successfully completing the training conducted by C. Co. are qualified in both aircraft," said Plitsch. "We refer to it as a 'hybrid' program. They have the ability to go to units with either the UH-60A or UH-60M Black Hawks.

"This gives the Army more flexibility and reduces future training requirements, which is directly in line with keeping the 'cost culture' and developing the 'correct Aviation force,' two of Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield's (Commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker) imperatives."

"The hybrid mission will continue in the hands of the Nighthawks. The mission will grow and we have much to do. With the experts in this organization, we will do more than succeed, we will excel," added Plitsch.