CAMP TAJI, Iraq – The 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment from Ft. Bliss, Texas, ended their successful tour in Southwest Asia with a Transfer of Authority Ceremony Aug. 16 at Camp Taji, Iraq.
The “Pistoleros” were attached to the 185th Theater Aviation Brigade and conducted missions throughout the Middle East and Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. During their nine-month deployment, the Pistoleros provided attack, lift, and medical evacuation support for Operation Inherent Resolve.
“Everyone had to pull their load, consistently working long hours with little time off,” said Lt. Col. Lance VanZant, commander of the 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment.
As the Pistoleros return home the 3rd Squadron, 6th Air Cavalry Regiment begin their deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Task Force “Heavy Cav” is the first attack reconnaissance battalion to deploy with Shadow unmanned aerial systems. The 3rd Squadron, 6th Air Cavalry Regiment will provide both general and attack aviation support for Operation Inherent Resolve.
“You have a large banner and heavy mantle to assume,” said Col. Ronald Beckham, 185th Theater Aviation Brigade. “Your skill and ingenuity will be challenged; your reputation and honored history demonstrate that this mission will not stop you from getting the job done.”
“Heavy Cav” was the first attack reconnaissance squadron to receive the Shadow unmanned aerial system in March 2015. In order to support Operation Inherent Resolve, they will use both the AH-64 Apache Aircraft and the Shadow UAS. The Shadow provides real time video feeds to both the pilots in the Apache aircraft and to personnel in the Tactical Operations Center, which provides another channel of communication between the crews in the aircraft and to the personnel in the TOC.