War on Terrorism

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wisconsin, Michigan Soldiers provide lift for Operation New Dawn

Despite a significant drawdown of American forces in Iraq, more than 400 Soldiers - approximately 300 from the Madison-based 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment - arrived in country last month and are conducting flying operations in support of Operation New Dawn.

The Soldiers are responsible for all aviation operations, including troop and cargo movements, medevac and attack missions in United States Division – South, which covers nine governorates - or provinces - of Iraq, including the area south of Baghdad.

Maj. Max Brosig, executive officer for the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation, said Wisconsin and Michigan Soldiers have integrated well and in some locations are even flying together. Brosig said the battalion has hit the ground running, and is already averaging 15 missions per day.

"We've only been doing it for a little more than three weeks, but it feels like it's been three months so far," Brosig said of the unit's accomplishments.

The recent troop drawdown leading up to the transition to Operation New Dawn will challenge the 147th Aviation during its deployment, Brosig said, as demand may exceed manpower.

"We'll do our best to try and adjust the ops tempo as we can," he said.

The Soldiers have also had to adjust to a different climate, as temperatures have exceeded 120 degrees across portions of Iraq.

"That temperature takes a toll on people so we, as leaders, make sure they're afforded the appropriate amount of time to rest," Brosig said."They're long days, but they're doing good."

The battalion reported for active duty June 17 and trained for six weeks at Fort Hood. Pond said the battalion racked up 1,200 hours of flight time and 260 hours of flight simulator training.

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