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Posted: August 3, 2018 12:08 p.m.
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3rd CAB Returns to HAAF


Col. Mark Johnson and Command Sgt. Maj. Terri Clavon, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade command team, cases the brigade colors during a transfer of authority ceremony on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan June 25. The ceremony marked the ending of a nine-month deployment as the only Army combat aviation rotary wing asset in Afghanistan.

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In early September 2017, a vast number of 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, with accompanying elements from active Army and South Carolina Army National Guard units, cased their colors in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan. During the deployment, the unit was designated to Task Force Falcon with the mission of being the sole Army rotary wing asset that provided support to Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. 

Mission requirements ranged from security and reconnaissance to medical evacuation to meet the demands of the combatant commander. They logged 36,000 amount of flight hours spanning over the nine-month deployment. Task Force Falcon conducted “Fly to Advise” operations throughout the Train, Advise and Assist Commands to enable Afghan forces to fly missions independently to increase the Afghan forces capability of sustainability and readiness. 

Task Force Falcon was comprised of Soldiers from Task Force Lighthorse, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment; Task Force Brawler, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment and Task Force Marauder, 1st Air Reconnaissance Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment. Throughout their time in Afghanistan, they executed combat missions of air assaults, troop and cargo movement, reconnaissance over the battlefield and casualty evacuation with positive impacts across Afghanistan.

Days before Task Force Falcon headed back to home station, there was an end of tour awards ceremony.   Johnson said to Soldiers, “be proud of your accomplishments because you are what made our mission in Afghanistan a success. We are extremely impressed with the commitment and dedication to duty that you all displayed throughout our time in country.”

Besides Marne Air Soldiers returning to Savannah, these Soldiers have many things to be proud of. 3rd ID has such a rich military history.  The community commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Second Battle of the Marne during WWI.

“This year marked the 100th year anniversary of the establishment of the 3rd Infantry Division,” said 3rd CAB commander, Col. Mark Johnson. “From holding the Marne River in France to taking back Iraq during the surge, Marne Soldiers have contributed immensely to fighting for freedom and you are now the newest part of that history.”

“It is the mission of the rear detachment to ensure a smooth redeployment and reintegration back to Hunter Army Airfield,” said Lt. Col. Arlin Wilsher. “That happens after the last person returns to work from spending time with their family and friends”.  

The nine-month deployment came to a close for Task Force Falcon when Task Force Destiny, 101st CAB assumed authority of the mission on late June.

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