Brigade gearing up for Iraq tour in October


POSTED: Thursday, May 28, 2009

The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, with its 2,400 soldiers, is preparing for an October deployment to Iraq—its third combat tour.

The aviation unit joined the 25th Infantry Division in February 1957 as the 25th Aviation Company.

The brigade had supported the division on several deployments, including Bosnia in 2002.

In January 2004 it sent a battalion to Iraq and two months later sent the rest of the brigade to Afghanistan.

In 2006 the brigade, then called the 25th Aviation Brigade, began a transition to the Army's new modular force structure as part of an overall transformation of the 25th Infantry Division. The unit was reorganized and renamed the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.

In July 2006 the brigade and division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq, again for a 15-month tour.

As part of Task Force Lightning, commanded by Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, the brigade joined units from the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions, the 82nd Airborne Division, and Army National Guard and Army Reserve units. The task force's 23,000 soldiers were responsible for an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania that included more than 10 million people spread through six provinces.

The brigade's aerial arsenal consists of the UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-53 Chinook and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.