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Aviation units to switch
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CAMP STRIKER, Iraq –The Army is constantly changing and restructuring to best meet mission requirements. At times, missions may require the movement of entire units to new locations.The 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, is one such unit making the move to join the 3rd Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade in Savannah, However, the soldiers of 3-17th Cav. Regt., are not moving from their home of Fort Drum, NY. but from Camp Striker, Iraq, now that their deployment is coming to an end. “We’re doing our redeployment and unit move simultaneously,” said Capt. Erik Wright, a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, and personnel officer for 3-17th Cav. Regt. “There have been rumors since the beginning of the deployment (that 3-17th Cav. Regt. would join CAB), but now it’s official.”With the reorganization of both the 3rd CAB and Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, each is giving up and receiving units to achieve the size of a medium CAB. The 3rd CAB Apaches of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, at Hunter Army Airfield are moving to Fort Drum to join 10th CAB, while the Kiowa Warriors of 3-17th Cav. Regt. make the move to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, said Lt. Col. Kevin Fowler, 3-17th Cav. Regt. commander. As they prepare to redeploy, the squadron’s mission is twofold, Fowler said. First, the unit is concerned with equipment accountability in Savannah“The initial question was: where is our equipment going?” said Maj. Nathaniel Wallace, executive officer of 3-17th Cav. Regt. “Do we send it to Savannah or New York?” For the soldiers there’s no difference between redeployment and the unit move with the exception of personal bags, which would normally travel with the unit’s equipment, Wallace said. However, with the equipment going to Savannah, many soldiers had to arrange other ways to transport their personal items home. “We have to ship a lot of our personal items home,” said Pvt. Devin Steele, who works in the operations section for HHT, 3-17th Cav. Regt. “I don’t have a whole lot of stuff but I can imagine it would be complicated for people who have a lot of stuff.”Secondly, the 3-17th Cav. Regt., is concerned with the movement of family and personnel to Savannah. A team from Hunter Army Airfield has already traveled to Fort Drum to talk to families about schools, day care and other important services or issues, said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Whitney, of 3-17th Cav. Regt.“(Hunter) has been and is making this transit as smooth as possible,” Whitney said. “The good news is we’ve been working together and have established a lot of relationships within the brigade in combat and now we’re just falling back on them when we get back. We have a great group of folks staying with the team who want to go to Hunter.” The squadron will have its personnel and equipment moved to Savannah by Feb. 16, 2009, when it will effectively join the 3rd CAB.“The squadron is excited about coming to 3rd CAB,” Fowler said. “We’ve had a great relationship working with the CAB in [Operation Iraqi Freedom] and we anticipate the relationship is going to grow and become a great one.”
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