Monday, December 24, 2007

Newly formed aviation task force assumes mission in MND-B

BY Sgt. 1st Class Chris Seaton, Task Force XII Public Affairs Office

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - U.S. Army Europe's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, organized in Iraq as Task Force XII, officially assumed the mission as the Multi-National Division-Baghdad aviation asset at a ceremony here Dec. 17.

The brigade, led by its commander Col. Timothy Edens, officially transferred authority from 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cav. Div. at one minute after midnight Dec. 18.

Task Force XII had been serving in Iraq for the past five months at Logistics Support Area Anaconda as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq aviation brigade. In support of the initiative to bring troop strength in Iraq back to pre-surge levels, Task Force XII was directed to move a portion of its assets to MND-B, joining with Soldiers from the 4th Squadron, 3rd Air Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas to create a new aviation Task Force in theater.

"During our training prior to deployment, and our experience as the corps aviation brigade for the first five months in theater we've prepared for the flexibility and capability we are now called on to demonstrate," Edens said in remarks to Task Force XII Soldiers during the ceremony. "Think and execute ... You are ready and up to the task."

The 1st ACB, led by Col. Dan Shanahan, served 15 months in Baghdad. Their time in Iraq saw a notable reduction in violence, and tremendous progress in creating a stable Iraq, Shanahan said.

"The mission has gone better than any of us could have expected," he said. "Personally, I could not have been any prouder. I have a good feeling about the way aviation is postured here in Multi-National Division-Baghdad."

Edens expressed his gratitude to the Soldiers of the 1st ACB, and challenged his own Soldiers to continue their legacy.

"You've led a magnificent unit, and left huge 'cav. troopers' boots to fill," he said. "God bless you and keep you as you now return home to a well deserved First Team welcome."