A closer look at Fort Bliss' Iron Eagles
Fort Bliss — The “Iron Eagles,” 1st Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade, had the majority of its aviation capability deployed in Kuwait and throughout Afghanistan from Kandahar in the south to Jalalabad in the East and as far North and West as Mazar-e-Sharif and Shindand for the past nine months.
The brigade’s mission was to facilitate U.S. forces in advising, assisting, and enabling operations for the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Iron Eagles with more than 30,000 hours conducted in excess of 100 air assault operations, and 40 medical evacuation missions while also providing agile, lethal, precise and discriminate fires in support of coalition forces.
Fourth Battalion, 501st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (Pistoleros), had a very unique mission in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Operating out of Kuwait they were tasked to support overwater contingency operations to enhance regional stability, ensure regional access, and support U.S. Army Forces, Central Command operational and strategic objectives in the region.
The brigade elements began their redeployment efforts in March and will close out the redeployment in the next month with Task Force Dragon and elements of 127th Aviation Support Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, 501st General Support Aviation Battalion.
Today, the CAB is focused on conducting reintegration training and equipment reset, and continues to support 1st AD units with outstanding aviation support to ground operations.
At the helm of the brigade is Col. Carey M. Wagen, the second commander of the Combat Aviation Brigade since the brigade reflagged at Fort Bliss. She is the first female in Army history to command a combat aviation brigade.
The Iron Eagles continue to train for their mission of deploying and providing expeditionary aviation support to geographic combatant commanders in decisive action operations in order to sustain unified land operations.
While at home station, the CAB is the sole source of rotary wing aviation support to the division, the post and the local community. With a diverse set of aviation capabilities, the CAB can support missions spanning anywhere from VIP movements, air assaults, and deliberate attack operations to support to civil authorities.
The CAB is thankful for all of the help from Fort Bliss, the city of El Paso, and the surrounding communities. As they redeploy and prepare for future contingencies at the most optimum training ground for aviation in the world, the brigade looks forward to continuing this great relationship within the community that mutually supports its Soldiers.