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1st Battalion - 111th Aviation Regiment (Atk Hel)

Florida Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment (Attack Helicopter), is based at the Craig Field Armory in Jacksonville.

The unit was deployed to Kuwait from 06 July 2000 of last year until Feb. 4, 2001. While in Kuwait, they were based at Camp Doha and prepared for the possible defense of Kuwait, conducted aerial gunnery, participated in joint training exercises and coordinated directly with the Kuwait Land Forces. The 1st Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment, returned home from Kuwait in February 2001. Family members and friends officially celebrated their homecoming in March 2001 at Craig Field, Jacksonville, Florida. Called Task Force Jaguar, close to 100 members of the Jacksonville unit deployed August 2000 for a six-month tour in Kuwait. They joined Guardsmen from four other states as they continued the peacekeeping efforts of Operation Southern Watch. Working alongside active duty troops, the 1/111th flew along and patrolled the Kuwait-Irag border in AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. Deployment for these Guardsmen meant refocusing their lives from a part-time soldier to active army. Not only did they spend their holiday's overseas without their loved ones, but withstood the withdrawal of leaving their civilian jobs behind. Task Force Jaguar arrived back in the states in February 2001 amid a private homecoming with friends and family.

As part of the Florida Guard counterdrug operations, the 20th Special Forces Group soldiers primarily do dive work and surveillance, with the help of three specially-equipped OH-58 helicopters piloted by Army aviators from the 1st Bn., 111th Aviation Regiment, in Jacksonville. The aircraft are equipped with high speed thermal imagers, Global Positioning System receivers and radio links to law enforcement agencies, Douglas said. From April to October 1995, the detachment was involved in several operations per week in various counties in Florida In 1995, they conducted 55 missions that resulted in 58 arrests by law enforcement authorities.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:16:48 ZULU