Kentucky Guard Aviators Aid in the Fight

Soldiers with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment “Renegades” pose for a photo in-front of their UH-60 Black Hawk while holding a University of Kentucky flag during their current deployment overseas in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. (Courtesy photo)

By CW3 Stefanie Crask, contributing writer with Bravo Company 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment.

CENTCOM – Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment “Renegades” is currently deployed overseas in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield located in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations and currently serving under the Army Reserve commands of 8-229th Assault Helicopter Battalion and the 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade.

The mission set has included Air movements, Air assaults, External Sling Loads, HERO flights, Naval Deck Landings, and Medevac Chase Operations. They have flown in five different countries and under three Task Forces within the CENTCOM Theater. Bravo Co. has flown the highest total of any flight company in the Brigade, flying over 3200 hours over the course of eight months.

Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment “Renegades” UH-60 Black Hawks sit ready for action during their deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. (Courtesy photo)

“It has been a very dynamic theater where aviation units were asked to provide a wide range of capabilities, over huge areas of operation,” said Capt. Terrell McClard, Company Commander.

One of their biggest strengths as a company has been the ability to remain flexible as the demands of the mission constantly changed over the course of the deployment. Bravo Company quickly stood out as the company that could always accomplish the mission no matter what obstacle or change was thrown their way. They have set the standard.

Their hard work, dedication and professionalism have demonstrated the dependability of the Kentucky Army National Guard, allowing positive relationships to foster with partner forces within the Task Force. Not only did they create a positive reputation for themselves and the organization, they grew in their capabilities as a unit as well as individuals.

“This opportunity to deploy to a combat theater has provided the unit the capability to grow and hone their aviation skills on a daily basis in a dynamic complex environment,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Conner, platoon leader with the 2/147.  “This opportunity has allowed us to build a level of readiness that will greatly benefit the Kentucky Guard when we return and set the unit up for success for years to come.”

A crew chief with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment “Renegades” prepares the flight of his UH-60 Black Hawk during their deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. (Courtesy photo)

Over the course of the deployment so far, a total of ten Soldiers have been promoted. Stefanie Crask, Joseph McKnight and Joseph Krestan were all promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer 3. Christopher Jones, Richard Singleton, Christopher Norris and Tyler Whittaker were promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer 2. Nathan Crotti was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and Logan Kruthaup and Craig Browning were promoted to Sergeant.

They also progressed three new Air Mission Commanders: Christopher Englen, Anthony Ewers and Jacob Conner while Stefanie Crask, Michele Ewers, Tyler Kramer and Christopher Norris were all progressed to Pilot in Command.  

 “We had a really junior group when we left home, but we worked hard, bonded and successfully completed our mission. All of us should be proud of the job we came to do and be honored to carry on the long standing military service of the Kentucky National Guard,” Sgt. 1st Class Michael Hagan.

Not only did they learn their individual jobs better, they learned about themselves too.

 “This deployment has given me countless learning opportunities and chances to grow personally and professionally,” said Sgt. Craig Browning. “I have been blessed to spend this time around such great people.”

The unit is currently welcoming their replacements and getting ready to hand over the responsibility to A and C Company 2nd Battalion 147th Aviation Regiment out of Minnesota and Iowa.

About kentuckyguard