Army Capt. Adam Stanley, with the 2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, of Denver, Colo., walks on to the runway to greet pilots returning from a flight at JBER Sunday. (U.S. Army photo/Spc. Dalton Smith)
Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, prepare themselves for annual training at JBER Monday. This year’s annual training exercise was the first time the battalion’s four companies – Headquarters and Headquarters Company, A Co., B Co., and C Co. – have trained together. (U.S. Army photo/Spc. Dalton Smith)
5/21/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Annual training requires a diverse group of individuals to work together to accomplish a successful mission in the military.
The 2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment improves its mission readiness by having their complete battalion with them for training.
This will be the first time the 2-228th Avn. Bn. will have their Headquarters Company, A Company, B Company and C Company together for annual training.
The battalion is to, on order, deploy to a specified theater of operations to conduct fixed wing aviation operations and provide command and control as directed by the land component commander.
"It's an awesome feeling and brings great pride to me," said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Ladlee, command sergeant major of the 2-228th Avn. Bn., of Newburgh, N.Y.
"To see the unit as a battalion, which to my knowledge has never done a training like this before, to be able to achieve mission readiness during annual training at full-strength," Ladlee said.
The training and operations department of the 2-228th Avn. Bn. had to plan a joint branch training exercise with JBER and the Alaska National Guard to host an annual training exercise big enough for their battalion.
"Right now this is like having two battalion-size exercises in one, making it twice as much work" said Capt. Adam Stanley, officer-in-charge of operations of the 2-228th Avn. Bn., of Denver, Colo.
"Because we have the majority of the battalion doing the actual exercise out in the field and the other part controlling all operations in the tactical operations center."
The battalion will conduct extended combat training and perform flight operations in
support of Joint Operational Support Airlift Center and Operational Support Airlift Agency to prepare and refine the battalion level skills needed to respond to humanitarian missions and combat threats.
The three flight companies will be using eight C-12 Huron and four UC-35 airplanes to carry distinguished visitors and supplies during the training, while headquarters company will support the mission training complex.
Stanley said JBER was chosen because Alaska has a similar austere environment to Afghanistan with its high altitude, unpredictable weather and mountains.
The pilots gain a great deal of experience by flying from their home stations on the east coast up here by itself.
"I want to push the Soldiers of my battalion to the limits to find their breaking point," said Lt. Col. Jami Shawley, commander of the 2-228th Avn. Bn., of Charleston, Mo. "Not to see them fail, but so I know where we need to improve."