834th Aviation Support Battalion
The 834th Aviation Support Battalion provides logistics, transportation, medical, maintenance and communications support for the Combat Aviation Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. The Soldiers of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion support the systems that enable UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to perform their missions. The 834th Aviation Support Battalion is a Minnesota Army National Guard battalion headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In spring 2003, the 634th Aviation Support Battalion was reflagged as the 834th Aviation Support Battalion, which was activated in its place in St. Paul Minnesota. The 834th Aviation Support Battalion provided dedicated division level logistics to the Aviation Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, to include the Division's cavalry squadron. Three company sized units comprised the Division Aviation Support Battalion, a Headquarters and Supply Company, an Aviation Intermediate Maintenance (AVIM) company, and a ground maintenance company.
The Battalion's Headquarters provided the command and control functions. It had 6 sections: Command, Unit Ministry, S1, S2/S3, Support Operations, and S4. The Supply Company supported the assigned aviation brigade by providing receipt, storage, and issue of Class I, II, III(p), IV and VII items. It supported bulk Class III and Class V operations through the Forward Ammunition Refueling Points (FARP) resupply section. The Headquarters/Supply Company contained the battalion headquarters and the supply company responsible for providing fuel, food and ammunition to the Aviation Brigade organizations. The Class III section operated a Fuel System Supply Point (FSSP) capable of storing 60,000 gallons of aviation fuel in addition to HEMTT fuel tankers and 500 gallon drums.
Company A was an Aviation Intermediate Maintenance (AVIM) company with repair and diagnostic equipment to enable the unit to either repair helicopter systems far forward or sub systems in the division rear area. The AVIM company provided aviation intermediate and reinforcing aviation unit maintenance to divisional aircraft at it base location in the brigade support area. The AVIM company provided a one-stop maintenance facility in the brigade support area and maintenance forward with contact teams comprised from personnel from its helicopter system repair platoon. The company had platoons for helicopter systems repair and aircraft maintenance repair.
Company B is a ground maintenance company with repair and diagnostic equipment to enable the unit to repair non-air equipment either in the division rear area or forward in a maneuver brigade area. The ground maintenance company provided unit maintenance for all aviation support battalion non-air items and direct support maintenance for aviation brigade and aviation support battalion non-air items, including automotive, engineer, utility, power generation, C-E equipment, and small arms. It also operated a collocated authorized stockage list for ground and air Class IX. The unit's cavalry support team provided habitual support to cavalry troops that routinely operate in a maneuver brigade support area. Ad Hoc maintenance teams also provided habitual support to the FARP operated by aviation units within the maneuver brigade area.
In May 2009, the 834th Aviation Support Brigade returned from Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as an element of Task Force 34. The original mission of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion was to conduct full spectrum operations to sustain, maintain and secure the soldiers and aircraft of Task Force 34.
As the mission evolved in theater, the extraordinary support provided by the 834th Aviation Support Battalion laid the foundation of mission success for not only Task Force 34 (Multi National Corps - Iraq), but also for another brigade, Task Force 449 (Multi National Division - Center). Combined, these 2 major units represent roughly half of the Army aviation resources conducting combat operations as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 834th Aviation Support Battalion provided critical logistical support to both brigades in the form of aviation maintenance, class IX (air) repair parts, fuel, ammunition distribution, transportation, communications, water and food, medical treatment, and communications.
Significantly, the 834th Aviation Support Battalion was the first and only such unit to establish and maintain 2 separate class IX warehouses and also support 2 aviation intermediate maintenance operations, widely separated by hundreds of kilometers in a combat zone. In addition, the Battalion conducted several other missions far removed from typical aviation support activities such as ground fuel resupply to Iraqi towns, and support to the Iraqi Based Industrial Zone program.
As of 11 January 2011, there were 4 companies in the 834th Aviation Support Battalion: the Battalion's Headquarters and Supply Company in St. Paul, Minnesota; A Company in St. Paul and Hastings, Minnesota; B Company at the Minnesota Army Aviation Support Facility in St. Paul; and C Company in Hastings, Minnesota.
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