Company E, 160th Aviation Regiment (Special Operations) (Airborne)
Company E, 160th Aviation Regiment (Special Operations) (Airborne), better known as Company E, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, was first constituted on 1 April 1982 in the Regular Army as Company E, 160th Aviation Battalion, an element of the 101st Airborne Division. The unit was formally activated on 16 October 1986 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 160th Aviation Battalion was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 16 January 1988 as Company E, 160th Aviation with the reorganization and redesignation on 16 January 1988 as the 160th Aviation, a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System. The unit was redesignated on 28 June 1990 as Company B, 160th Aviation and inactivated on 15 November 1993 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The unit was redesignated on 29 January 1999 as Company E, 160th Aviation and activated on 16 March 2001 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Company E then spent a year preparing to move its approximately 100 soldiers, 50 civilians, and a company of six MH-47E Chinook helicopters to Taegu, Republic of Korea. Company E was moved to Taegu during the summer of 2001, marking the beginning of Army special operations aviation support in the Republic of Korea.
After arriving in Korea, Company E replaced the US Air Force's 31st Special Operations Squadron as the unit responsible for providing special operations airlift throughout the Pacific theater. The replacement of the Air Force's MH-53J helicopters with the Army's MH-47E helicopters was expected to improve operational readiness rates by increasing the airlift capabilities of special operations forces units in theater. With a limited expenditure of resources, the change was to make theater special operations forces more efficient, more ready, and more capable. The forward-basing of Company E also had other benefits. The company would have the opportunity to work closely with other special operations elements, and the increased US presence was seen as helping strengthen the ROK-US military alliance.
Company E, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) was inactivated in late 2009, and reflagged as an element of the 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). The newly activated Battalion was to have a focus toward the Pacific region.
At some time in 2010, Company E was reactivated again as a separate company to provide special operaitons unmanned aerial vehicle support. On 29 March 2013, Company E was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service. During the period from 4 December 2010 to 31 May 2011, Company E, 160th Aviation Regiment (Special Operations) (Airborne) displayed meritorious achievement in preparation for and operations in combat in support of United States Special Operations Command and United States Central Command. The unit skillfully deployed Special Operations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Afghanistan.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|