FORT HOOD — The Attack Battalion has two goals during its deployment to Afghanistan, said its commander, Lt. Col. Cain Baker — to take care of each other, and to win.
“The first goal goes unsaid,” Baker said. “Winning requires constant discipline, professionalism, character and most importantly, the passion to end your last day in Afghanistan just like you started the first one. Winning isn’t how many hours we fly or triggers we pull, but the reputation we leave behind.”
This is the sixth deployment since 2002 for 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. To symbolize its departure from Fort Hood, the battalion command team cased the unit’s colors during a ceremony Friday at the unit’s hangar. The unit will bring about 300 soldiers using Apaches, Black Hawks and medevac aircraft to Regional Command North for a nine-month deployment. While in Afghanistan, it will provide air support for ground troops.
“I whole-heartedly believe the battalion is well prepared for this mission,” said battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Roque Quichocho.
To be ready for the harsh weather and sand of Afghanistan, the battalion conducted training in similar environments such at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and Fort Bliss.
“Part of the (training) at NTC was to go out and conduct dust landings,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steve Napoli. Pilots getting this sort of training also allowed maintenance crews the real-life training they need, he added.
After four deployments to Iraq, starting with the invasion in 2002, and now going to Afghanistan for a second time rounds out the battalion’s work over the past dozen years, Baker said.
“It’s another bookend here that adds to this battalion’s legacy,” he said.