NEWS | May 4, 2020

Utah National Guard’s Aviation Battalion to Deploy to Afghanistan

By Maj. Jaime Thomas, 801-716-9063 For Immediate Release

Approximately 300 Soldiers of the 1st Attack/Reconnaissance Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment are scheduled to depart the Army Aviation Support Facility May 7, 2020, as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.

The battalion, comprised of three companies of AH-64 Apache helicopters, is slotted to augment 4th Infantry Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade as a part of Task Force Ivy Eagle. The battalion has been tasked to provide combat air support to ground forces during the 12-month deployment in the CENTCOM area of operations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current social distancing guidelines, the departure will be sequenced in smaller groups. Media must RSVP for the following time slots: 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 10 a.m. The departure will take place near the south aircraft hangar of the Army Aviation Support Facility, where the Soldiers will depart in Apache helicopters bound for Fort Hood, Texas, to complete final qualifications prior to deploying overseas.

“The 1-211th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion has a history of exceptional performance” said Lt. Col. Jon D. Richardson, the 1-211th ARB commander.  “We have deployed to Kuwait, twice to Afghanistan, and many rotations through the Army's combat training centers at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Fort Irwin, California.  Our Soldiers are well trained and have been preparing for this deployment to the CENTCOM area of operations for the past two years.”

The battalion of aviation warfighters has been training to answer the nation’s call to service.

 “It is important to know that our Soldiers in the Utah Army National Guard are still actively supporting our nation's defense overseas,” said Richardson. “Our Soldiers are your friends, family, and neighbors who are helping to deter terrorism. It is our privilege to protect allied soldiers on the battlefield and to serve our nation.”