82nd takes over aviation operations in Afghanistan
Posted October 18, 2011 3:22 p.m. EDT
Updated October 18, 2011 6:51 p.m. EDT
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN — The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade has officially taken over aviation operations in parts of Afghanistan.
A memorial of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Bagram Airfield served as a backdrop for Saturday's ceremony that put the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade at the center of the fight for justice and security for Afghanistan.
The conflict started a decade ago after the mastermind and some of the hijackers of the terrorist attacks were linked to Afghanistan.
The 82nd CAB now takes over the fight from the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, N.Y.
"It's a great day for both the 10th and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. I know the 82nd CAB is ready to take this fight, and the 10th CAB is ready to hand off," said Col. Pedro Almeida, with the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Afghanistan is familiar territory for the 82nd CAB, as some of the troops are familiar with combat in the mountainous region.
"They stand ready to continue a legacy of courage, lethality and teamwork," said Maj. Gen. Daniel Allen, commanding general of Regional Command East in Afghanistan.
Leaders and soldiers with the 82nd CAB will be working alongside their 10th Mountain counterparts during a transitional period.
"I can only describe it as 100 percent transparency, showing us the good, the bad and the very, very difficult," said Col. T.J. Jamison, of the 82nd CAB.
The 82nd takes over at a critical juncture in the security of Afghanistan, with a reduction in troops there expected by 2014.