8th Battalion (Attack Reconnaissance), 229th Aviation Regiment
8th Battalion (Attack), 229th Aviation Regiment
The 8th Battalion (Attack Reconnaissance), 229th Aviation Regiment is located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Nicknamed the "Flying Tigers," the Battalion operated and maintained 24 Apache helicopters, with a support structure of more than 370 enlisted soldiers, officers, aviators, and civilians.
On 31 September 1989, 8th Battalion (Attack), 229th Aviation Regiment was activated as a unit of the Army Reserve (USAR) at Fort Knox, Kentucky flying AH-1F Cobra helicopters out of Godman Army Airfield. In January 1993, 8-229th Aviation received its first AH-64A Apache helicopter and began unit validation with the Combat Aviation Training Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas. The 8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment subsequently distinguished itself as the first 24 ship Apache battalion under the Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) in the Army.
In 1988, the 229th Aviation Regiment was granted permission from the American Volunteer Group (the "Flying Tigers") to use their name and logo. All units within the 229th Aviation Regiment were proudly known as the Flying Tigers. Just like their early World War II brethren, the modern day Flying Tigers were prepared to go anywhere in the world and confront overwhelming odds to maintain democracy and peace to oppressed people.
In 1999, 8-229th Aviation was selected as the first USAR aviation battalion to perform the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia as part of Task Force Eagle in Operation Joint Forge. As the Heavy Attack asset for the 10th Aviation Brigade, the Battalion provided the firepower and range of 16 Apaches and the 177 soldiers to support them. The "Flying Tigers" flew over 2000 hours in support of NATO forces in Bosnia.
The Army Aviation Association of America honored the Battalion on 3 different occasions in the 1990s. In 1995, the 8-229th Aviation was recognized as the Outstanding Army Aviation Unit for the USAR. In 1997, the Battalion's Electronic Warfare Program was awarded as the best in Army Aviation. Then again in 1999, the Battalion was recognized as the Outstanding Army Aviation Unit for the USAR, for their accomplishments and superb safety record of 1,987 accident-free flying hours.
From August 1999 to March 2000, 8-229th Aviation deployed aircraft and personnel to Bosnia, supporting the 10th Mountain Division. This was the first time a Reserve unit had been given the combat aviation mission in Bosnia.
When the Global War on Terrorism began after the events of 11 September 2001, 8-229th Aviation answered the call by providing several dozen "Flying Tigers" to various other units within the 244th Aviation Brigade to augment that unit's deployment. Then in 2004, the Battalion was mobilized to deploy to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The Battalion served near Tikrit, Iraq and flew over 13,000 hours in support of over 1,700 missions. 8-229th Aviation returned to Fort Knox, Kentucky in October 2005 and started their transformation and qualification in the AH-64D Longbow helicopter.
In 2007, the decision was made to activate a command to serve as the functional command and control element over all Army Reserve aviation units. With the activation of the 11th Aviation Command and the reorganization of Army Reserve aviation elements, 8-229th Aviation was reassigned from the 244th Aviation Brigade to the 11th Aviation Command.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|