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1st Battalion (General Support), 52nd Aviation Regiment

The mission of the 1st Battalion (General Support), 52nd Aviation Regiment is to provide aviation general support to United States Army Alaska, transition to war, and conduct operations in support of Combatant Commanders.

Prior to 2005, the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment had been based in South Korea, as part of the 17th Aviation Brigade, Eighth US Army. There its mission had been to transition to war rapidly and provide theater aviation General Support to the Commander in Chief (CINC), Combined Forces Command (CFC), United States Forces Korea (USFK), and the Eighth United States Army (EUSA).

To accomplish that mission the unit consisted of 6 companies with a total of about 40 UH-60A and C-12F aircraft. Although the Battalion's primary focus was General Support, each company additionally specialized in other areas. Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Crusaders) provided the headquarters, administration, and logistics base for the Battalion, as well as the CINC's Flight Platoon (CINCHAWK). A Company (Dragons) served as a Combat Support Aviation Company with the ability to provide Command and Control (C2), air assault, and aerial logistics supply. B Company (Red Barons) had the additional mission to provide split base operations at K-16 and Taegu, in support of the 19th TAACOM Commander and the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission. C Company (Tomahawks) provided the primary support for VIP missions and the EUSA Commander. D Company (White Horse) was the Battalion's Aviation Unit Maintenance (AVUM) company responsible for the operational readiness of the battalion's UH-60s. A company, 6th Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment was the attached fixed wing company with assets both in Korea and in Japan.

The 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment was first constituted on 16 January 1996 in the Regular Army as the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation, and activated in Korea. On 16 February 1996, as part of the Aviation Restructuring Initiative, the 1-501st Aviation was inactivated and reflagged as the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation at K-16 airfield. 1-52nd Aviation was consolidated at K-16 in March of 1996. In 1997, 1-52nd Aviation received the theater AAAA Outstanding Aviation Unit of the Year Award.

In early 2005 the decision was made for 1-52nd Aviation to begin a transformation. On 15 April 2005, while remaining at K-16, A Company, 1-52nd Aviation, Dragon Flight, Eagle Flight, and A Company 6-52nd Wildcats were reflagged as elements of 2nd Battalion (General Support), 52nd Aviation based out of Camp Humphreys, Korea. Later in June 2005 the remainder of the Battalion relocated to Fort Wainwright, Alaska to begin the start of a new General Support Aviation Battalion in the Alaskan Theatre. The unit was assigned to Task Force 49, US Army Alaska. It was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 1st Battalion, 52d Aviation Regiment.

With the replacement of Task Force 49, US Army Alaska with the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, US Army Alaska, the 1st Battalion (General Support), 52nd Aviation became a key component of that organization. On 1 August 2011, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade completed its move to Joint Base Lewis-McChord from Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Established in in 2009 to control aviation operations in Alaska, a function previously performed by Task Force 49, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade had subsequently evolved into a command for various aviation assets within I Corps, resulting in the decision to move the command. It was subsequently determined, however, that 16th Combat Aviation Brigade could not effectively control the aviation assets in Alaska that remained and a new command, the US Army Alaska Aviation Task Force was subsequently established to provide command and control for 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment and 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment.




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