The 3-142 AHB traces its heritage back to 1947 with the formation of a fixed wing aviation detachment of L-19 Bird Dogs assigned to Miller Field in Staten Island, New York. Over the next few decades, the 42nd Aviation Battalion (as it was known then) would grow, having letter companies assigned across New York and in other nearby states as well. In the late 1960’s, the Battalion began transitioning to rotary wing aircraft.
Over the years and through several additional re-organizations, the 42nd Aviation Battalion, in 1985, had over 1000 personnel and 125 aircraft that included the AH-1 Cobra, OH-6 Cayuse, and UH-1 Iroquois.
Further restructuring in 1995 led to the deactivation of some units and the creation of the 3rd Battalion142nd Aviation Regiment. The new unit began receiving its first UH-60 Blackhawks the same year.
Following the transition to the new airframe, the 3rd of the 142nd began a series of intensive training and validation exercises to ensure the unit was mission ready, culminating in a Joint Readiness Training Exercise (JRTC) rotation at Fort Polk, LA (1999). Numerous missions and deployments followed, including several New Horizons assistance deployments to Honduras and Nicaragua (1999 - 2006), World Trade Center 9/11 assistance (2001-2002), a mobilization and deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina (2002-2003), assistance to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina (2005) and border patrols along the US - Mexican border (2006).
In May 2007, following yet another reorganization in which the battalion was re-configured to its current make-up as an Assault Helicopter Battalion, the unit received its mobilization alert order prepping it to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 3-142 was deployed in Iraq from August 2008 to the May of 2009. The battalion deployed to Baghdad and a few other locations in southern Iraq providing aviation support throughout the region, supporting the 10th Mountain Division.
The unit’s most recent significant mission was in support of the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (2012). The 21-day operation presented numerous challenges that the unit had to overcome in order to provide air support for the relief effort. Regardless, every 3rd Battalion Soldier involved in the mission performed marvelously despite the challenges.