1-135th ARB wins Outstanding Army Aviation Reserve Unit of the Year

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 1-135th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) was recognized as the Outstanding Army Aviation Reserve Unit of the year by the Army Aviation Association of America.

The battalion accomplished a benchmark year completing two extremely significant training events and deploying to Regional Command (RC) North, Afghanistan. Any one of these events alone would mark a significant achievement for any Army National Guard aviation battalion, showcasing the impressive accomplishments of 1-135th ARB throughout 2013.

Due to an extremely condensed timeline, the battalion completed an exceptionally complex 30-day training event, enabling them to meet the FORSCOM requirement of an aerial gunnery qualification within 180-days of arrival into theater. This was accomplished while also utilizing the time and resources at hand to plan and execute a number of pre-mobilization requirements, and conduct high altitude training event in Boise, Idaho, which they planned and executed. In Feb. 2013, the battalion qualified 23 aircrews on Tables VII/VIII, the most in the 1-135th ARB's history during a single gunnery event. They completed TSIRT, CLS and conducted HAMETS for 30 aviators, a first for any National Guard AH-64D battalion prior to mobilization.

The battalion then completed the challenging Unit Fielding and Training Program at Fort Hood to validate as an AH-64D battalion. The unit earned praise from UFTP support personnel stating the battalion was the best they had seen in five rotations, prompting the 166th Brigade Commander to send a personal message to the Adjutant General of Missouri praising the 1-135th ARB.

Capt. Adrian Hatcher, 1-135th ARB AH-64 pilot expresses gratitude in the hard work and effort put forth to win this award.

"This year, we won the Unit of the Year award from the Army Aviation Association of America," Hatcher said. "It was a great experience and opportunity for us because our unit has been preparing for deployment since Feb. 2013. We put a lot of preparation into this and it really helped out our ground troops as well as retrograde operations."
It is because their intense performance, they rightfully claim the Unit of the Year award as the Outstanding Army Aviation Reserve Unit. Still, constant progression must continue.

"You always want to improve and keep building on what you accomplished," said Command Sergeant Major David Gail, 1-135th ARB aircraft maintenance supervisor. "This doesn't give us an opportunity to relax, but it lets us know what we can achieve when we work hard!"