Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot
10th Combat Aviation Brigade PAO NCOIC
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghani-stan – Soldiers of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade celebrated the unit’s 48th birthday here Aug. 21 with a barbecue, entertainment and music provided by the 101st Airborne Division band.
“It’s fitting that we take the time to celebrate this great brigade’s birthday this year (during) the unit’s fourth and likely final time in Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Col. David Francis, 10th CAB commander.
“This deployment may well close another chapter in a long and distinguished history.”
Although the unit has called Fort Drum home for more than two decades, the 10th CAB actually traces its lineage to Fort Benning, Ga., where the unit was constituted into the regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 10th Aviation Battalion, on Aug. 21, 1965.
The brigade, officially activated two years later, would go on to perform valorously during the Army’s efforts in Vietnam, receiving numerous commendations and awards.
Eight years after the brigade was deactivated in 1980 at Fort Lewis, Wash., it was reconstituted as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), on April 1, 1988.
Three months later, on July 2, 1988, the unit was activated at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome.
The brigade moved to its home at Fort Drum two years later.
Units from the 10th CAB provided support for Hurricane Andrew relief in south Florida; Operations Restore Hope and Continued Hope in Somalia; Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti; and stabilization force missions in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Over the last decade, 10th CAB has deployed four times to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and once to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The legacy we leave will form the foundation upon which this unit’s future commanders, aviators and support personnel build their future successes,” said Maj. Jonathan Shaffner, 10th CAB executive officer.
“Future generations of warriors will draw upon the heroic deeds of 10th CAB Soldiers, past and present.”
Coming up on the halfway point of their nine-month deployment to Regional Command-East, members of the brigade used the celebratory event as a brief respite to sit back and reflect on the unit’s illustrious history.