1-135th ARB "chops" their way to the top

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexandra M. Boutte
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
"Audaces Fortuna Juvat"- fortune favors the bold. This motto is stitched on the patch of the 1-135th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. It means luck is for the bold and for those who aspire to succeed.

The mission of the 1-135th ARB is to conduct attack reconnaissance and security operations to compliment other maneuver forces. They prepare combat-ready forces on order to mobilize, deploy and organize for combat and conduct attack helicopter operations in support of division operation.

Lt. Col. James Schreffler, 1-135th ARB commander, is responsible for 420 full and part-time Soldiers residing at this Air Force Global Strike Command base.

"We are an attack helicopter battalion and we are geared to provide aerial attack assets to ground forces as necessary," said Capt. Paul Howerton, 1-135th ARB battalion assistance S3.

The 1-135 ARB is made up of six companies different missions. Alpha, Bravo and Charlie companies are the line companies of the Battalion. Headquarters and Headquarters Company provides all support for the battalion. Delta Company provides all aviation maintenance assets for the battalion. The battalion's Echo Company is the services support company and they provide the fuel, food and ground maintenance.

Although the battalion has no direct ties with 509th Bomb Wing's mission, the 509th Security Forces Squadron does write them in the security plans and they do have a limited role in exercises.

"We try to utilize all assets here at Whiteman," said Maj. John Martin, 1-135 ARB executive and administrative officer. "We store ammunition here and if our Soldiers need assistance with anything, we will use the Chaplin or the Sexual Assistance Response Coordinators. We will also use the base exchange, dining hall and the education center."

"We are a unique kind of Guard," Captain Howerton said. "We are a self-sustained unit but we do have a separate unit in Clinton, Mo., that gives us all the mutual support we need."

While the 1-135th ARB is no stranger to the base, they are also not a stranger to accolades; their progression throughout the years has garnered their share of awards.

The battalion's latest accomplishment was the Aviation Resource Management Survey. It is an Army level inspection and is an assessment of all aspects of aviation operations ensuring the unit is managing all the resources as directed.

"We received all satisfactory ratings and that was a first in our battalion," Captain Howerton said.

The 1-135th also identified as Army National Guard aviation training assistance Team Unit of the year award, Captain Howerton said. We received the award preparing for the survey inspection.

The battalion's biggest challenge yet will come in September with the conversion of the Alpha model to the Delta model of the Apache. The unit will turn the old helicopters in to receive the new aircraft.

"This will be a huge year of training," said Major Martin. "We will re-train the pilots, aviators and mechanics. The attack battalion supports the Army mission very well and I am very proud to be part of this unit."

"This is not a significant change, but it will be a significant event in the battalion," added Major Martin.

Although Whiteman and the 1-135 ARB are not siblings from the same military branch, they are brother and sister in arms.

"Whiteman is a great place to be," Major Martin said. "Whiteman has embraced us as a tenant unit and they have done everything they can for us."