By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsApril 8, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and all of its battalions changed command in a ceremony April 4 on Cooper Field, the division's parade field.
Col. Dan Shanahan, who commanded the 1st Air Cavalry "Warrior" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, for three years, including a 15-month deployment to Iraq, relinquished command to the Col. Douglas M. Gabram.
While Shanahan held the rein, two of the unit's battalions stood up prior to deploying to Iraq. While deployed, the Warrior Brigade conducted more than 1,300 troops-in-contact missions, 175 air assaults, 500 indirect-fire responses and 9,225 tactical movements. The brigade also moved more than 264,000 passengers and 21,000 pounds of cargo and flew more than 19,400 hours.
Shanahan will temporarily be assigned with be with the division's headquarters.
Gabram previously served as commander of 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on two Iraq deployments before completing the Senior Service College Fellowship at the University of Texas, Austin.
Prior to the brigade, each of the Warrior Brigade's battalion changed command in the same ceremony. The outgoing and incoming commanders are as follows:
- 1st "Attack" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment: Lt. Col. Christopher Walach relinquished command to Lt. Col. Charles Dalcourt.
- 2nd "Lobo" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment: Lt. Col. Christopher Joslin relinquished command to Lt. Col. Ralph Litscher.
- 3rd "Spearhead" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment: Lt. Col. Michael Shenk relinquished command to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Metzger.
- 4th "Guns" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment: Lt. Col. Timothy DeVito relinquished command to Lt. Col. Randall Haws.
- 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion: Lt. Col. Mark Hirschinger relinquished command to Lt. Col. Harold Keck.
At the ceremony, the 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General Brig. Gen. (P) Vincent K. Brooks, commented on the Warrior Brigade's numerous deployments in the months before deploying to Iraq in 2006. Among these deployments were temporary duties in Pakistan and New Orleans to provide humanitarian assistance to earthquake and hurricane victims.
"This is a brigade that has repeatedly answered the call to save lives," Brooks said, adding that no other brigade surpassed the Warrior Brigade in attacking and destroying insurgents, enemy mortar teams and improvised explosive device emplacers during the Iraq deployment.
Shanahan thanked the more than 3,000 Soldiers in the brigade for their dedication and hard work.
"No aviation met the challenges quite like this team," Shanahan said of the aviation mission that the Warrior Brigade performed for Multi-National Division-Baghdad during the Iraq deployment. "This is the most dedicated and finest group that I have ever been associated with.
"I enjoyed every day working with you," he said. "You are the superstars of our Army."
Gabram commended Shanahan for his successes in leading the Warrior Brigade and made a pledge to the Soldiers standing in formation on the field.
"I pledge to you that this command team ... will give you 110 percent of our hearts and souls."