NEWS | Nov. 4, 2017

Task Force Pegasus flexes its muscle on deployment

By Capt. Stephen James 29th Combat Aviation Brigade

The 29th Combat Aviation Brigade’s 449th Aviation Support Battalion, Task Force Pegasus, improved its readiness through a series of training events, culminating in a multi-day exercise at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Oct. 23, 2017.

Prior to the training exercise, ASB Soldiers completed a convoy live fire, which resulted in the successful qualification of nine vehicle gun crews and increased the battalion-wide capability to conduct missions.

Following the convoy live fire event, Task Force Pegasus conducted a brigade support area defense exercise. Task Force Pegasus Soldiers conducted a tactical convoy to a remote unprepared site, where they established security and began operations, said Capt. Chase Yarbrough, operations officer from the 449th ASB.

Convoy live fire training and convoy movements to establish a BSA are critical tasks for every ASB in the Army. Task Force Pegasus is now ready to perform these important tasks for 29th CAB if necessary.

“The ASB is the logistical muscle for the CAB, so we must be able to move ourselves from point A to point B on the battlefield and provide security for ourselves during the move,” said Task Force Pegasus Commander Lt. Col. Robert “Bo” Guevara.

While occupying the BSA, the ASB conducted logistical resupply operations and established and maintained a security perimeter. To challenge the Task Force Pegasus Soldiers, simulated opposing forces conducted attacks against the BSA. Fortunately, the Soldiers were prepared. Their individual and collective training leading up to the BSA exercise paid off.

“These are not tasks that the ASB has either regularly or recently executed, so the train-up for the exercises was just as valuable as executing the occupation in the field,” said Yarbrough.

Training prior to the exercise happened concurrently with the ASB’s regular duties, including conducting maintenance on the CAB’s helicopter fleet and shipping parts to multiple locations.

“Soldiers of each company and special team exceeded initial expectations, especially given the fact that the units trained, rehearsed and assembled for these exercises on top of their assigned duties under Task Force Pegasus, which has responsibilities for missions at multiple locations across AO Georgia,” said Task Force Pegasus Executive Officer Maj. Nathaniel Dibling.

The ASB’s Soldiers were able to take advantage of this training opportunity while deployed, an opportunity that they normally might not receive in their normal National Guard training cycle.

“National Guard aviation support battalions often do not have the opportunity to fully train this task to proficiency in a stateside environment,” said Yarbrough. “Honing these skills allows an aviation support battalion to operate more independently and keep pace with the maneuver units, in this case the CAB, we are organized to support.”

After the exercise, everyone was pleased that 449th ASB Soldiers rose to the challenge of the training.

“I think we have raised the bar for our Soldiers' expectations of themselves, but Task Force Pegasus Soldiers have also raised the bar for the ASB with their excellence,” said Guevara.

The 449th ASB is a Texas Army National Guard battalion currently deployed as part of the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, which provides aviation capability, operational and logistical support to both Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield across Iraq and Kuwait.