82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Team Talks Redeployment from Afghanistan
Preparing to complete their one year deployment cycle, the leadership have been using the reintegration tools for both troops and families to ensure a smooth transition process for all.
Thursday afternoon the command team from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) held a live video press conference with Fayetteville media. With two flights just back at Fort Bragg, and more coming soon, the plans are in place to prepare the soldiers and families for a smooth integration process.
Col. T.J. Jamison and Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Farmer answered questions and discussed the impact their soldiers have had, battlefield capabilities and reintegration upon their upcoming redeployment that will mark one year, next month.
The 82nd CAB flew more than any unit in history: 170,000 hours. They have 2,700 soldiers assigned to them from Fort Bragg, and 1,200 from other units. Of those troops, seven were sent back to the U.S. with injuries sustained during war and they lost four in combat. Killed in Action were: Capt. Scott P. Pace, 1LT. Mathew Fazzari, Sgt. Eric Williams and Staff Sgt. Robert Cawdrey. One soldier, Staff Sgt. Keith Rudd, was lost unrelated to a combat mission.
During their soon-to-be 12 month deployment the brigade has left a large footprint against the insurgency and had a successful rotation.
"The biggest impact we've had is the protection of U.S. forces on the ground and bringing our Afghan partners along and teaching them how to conduct aviation operations, they are very good fighters," said Col. Jamison. "We have developed a program where we have partnered for the first time with the Afghan by bringing them into our compound, in our hangars and they now work on our aircraft."
Both leaders expressed gratitude towards the soldiers and their constant aviation presence they were able to provide as they became experts in learning the terrain.
"The heroes of this fight are out there working 24 hours a day, they are my maintainers and refuelers who are sitting out there all day and all night refueling the aircraft," said Command Sgt. Maj. Farmer.
Force Resiliency Program
The Army’s process for reintegration is deliberate and allows the soldiers to recover in order to prepare for their next mission. The existing reintegration program is mandatory for personnel upon redeployment regardless of rank following their 48 hours off once they are back in country.
"Colonel Jamison and I have been on a battlefield circulation every week where we visited with the task forces and in the last month we've started talking about expectation management," said Command Sgt. Maj. Farmer. "How the families and soldiers have to deal with each other when they get back home and we talk to them about the eight-day reintegration model."
Fort Bragg offers a host of resources for the soldiers and families inside the 8 day reintegration model that is online. There are parenting classes, financial management classes and other noteworthy courses to tackle challenges.
Family Readiness Groups have also been going through the training back home to ensure a smooth transition for all.
Two flights or early advon personnel have already redeployed and they are preparing alongside the Family Readiness Group to welcome back the brigade as they gear up to redeploy over the next month as the 101st Airborne Division takes over their misison.