1-130th Aviation Battalion
The Morrisville-based 1st Battalion of the 130th Aviation Regiment, North Carolina Army National Guard, held a farewell ceremony for activated soldiers and their families Sunday, January 19, 2003.
The first North Carolina National Guard combat unit activated since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the 1st of the 130th flies the AH-64A Apache attack helicopter and has an authorized strength of 328 soldiers and 24 aircraft. Soldiers received their mobilization orders Jan. 9 after having been alerted for possible mobilization only a few days earlier. After leaving their Morrisville armory, the unit will spend a couple of weeks on an active-duty post where they will undergo additional mobilization training before possible deployment to an undisclosed location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit's orders put it on active duty for one year with a possible extension to two.
This unit was mobilized during Operation Desert Shield/Storm in February 1991 and sent to Ft. Hood, Texas for training prior to a planned transfer to Southwest Asia. The Gulf War ended before the unit could deploy overseas. In July of 1998, it served as part of Operation Southern Watch policing the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over southern Iraq. During the deployment, the unit operated from Ali al-Salem Air Base, Kuwait.
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