Two New York Army National Guard units which will be heading to Fort Hood, Texas and then Kuwait later this month will hold their formal mobilization and farewell ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Shaker High School in Latham.
WHO: 180 Soldiers assigned to the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade and Company A 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation, their family members, and New York Army National Guard leaders.
WHAT: A ceremony to mark the Soldiers mobilization and movement out of New York, first to Fort Hood Texas for post-mobilization training and then to Kuwait where they will provide Army aviation support to American forces stationed in that country.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.
WHERE: Shaker High School Gymnasium, 445 Watervliet-Shaker Road , Latham NY, 12110.
Members of the press will have an opportunity to interview Soldiers and their families, as well as the leaders of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade. Still and video imagery opportunities include the ceremony, troops in formation, and families with their Soldiers.
The 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, a component of the Troy-based 42nd Infantry Division, provides command and control for Army Aviation units. The brigade is responsible for elements in 11 states. Components of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade in New York include the 3rd Battalion 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, based in Ronkonkoma and Latham, and the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion with elements in Ronkonkoma, Rochester, Dunkirk and Olean.
The Brigade will deploy to Kuwait to provide aviation support for U.S. military forces deployed in that country. Also deploying from New York are Company A, 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation (Assault Helicopter Battalion) based at Albany International Airport in Latham. and the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion.
The 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade will also take command of 400 Soldiers of theArmy's 4th Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment, an Attack Reconnaissance Battalion based at Fort Hood which flies the AH-64 D Apache "Longbow" attack helicopter. The brigade will also be assigned the 400 troops of the 3rd Battalion 238th General Support Aviation Battalion which is a Michigan National Guard aviation unit with some elements from the Delaware National Guard.
A General Support Aviation Battalion includes UH-60 helicopters configured as Air Ambulances for medical evacuation, UH-60 used in the command and control role to move key personnel around the country, and CH-47 heavy lift helicopters which can move up to 30 troops and large amounts of cargo.
The 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade traces its history back to the formation of an aviation detachment of small L-19 "Bird Dog" planes organized in 1947 to provide artillery fire direction support and command liaison support for the 42nd Infantry Division.
In 2004/2005 the brigade mobilized with the 42nd Infantry Division and deployed to Tikrit, Iraq where it conducted combat missions in four Iraqi provinces with units from the Active Army, the California Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
The brigade is based at the New York State Armory in Latham and since returning from Iraq has coordinated aviation efforts in support of emergency responses to Mohawk and Hudson River flooding and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Company A 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation (Assault Helicopter Battalion) flies UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Army National Guard flight facility at Albany International Airport. The company has deployed to Honduras and Bosnia and in 2008/2009 deployed to Iraq as part of Task Force Jester which provided aviation support to the 10th Mountain Division.