Story and Photo by
Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Distinguished visitors, families and cherished friends gathered for a deployment ceremony on the historic flight line, here, Nov. 18.
The ceremony bid farewell to the Soldiers serving with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, “Wings of Lightning,” 25th Infantry Division, as they prepare to depart for a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The ceremony honored Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 25th Avn. Regt.; 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regt.; 1st Attack Reconnaissance Bn., 2nd Avn. Regt.; 209th Avn. Support Bn.; and Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
Col. Frank Tate, commander, 25th CAB, expressed confidence in his Soldiers’ ability to perform the mission and return safely home to their families.
“We will approach our mission with enthusiasm and optimism as we have faced similarly difficult challenges during this long war, and we have always been successful,” Tate said.
“Our touchstone will remain the 25th CAB’s motto, ‘Lele makou no na puali,’ or ‘we fly for the troops.’ Everything that we do will be to support the Soldier on the ground that bears the greatest brunt of this war,” Tate said.
During the ceremony, battalion and squadron commanders joined Tate in a simultaneous casing of the brigade and battalion colors, symbolizing their departure Hawaii for their new mission in Afghanistan.
“And to our families and loved ones, thank you for your strength and unwavering support,” Tate said in closing remarks. “We could not take on our mission without it. We love you all and that is what we fight for.”
As the ceremony concluded, families rushed onto the flight line to embrace their departing Soldiers.
The 25th CAB’s primary mission is to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for al-Qaida and other international terrorists while building its capacity to secure and develop itself as a country. The brigade will operate in several key regions of Afghanistan, executing missions ranging from air assault to air movement, resupply and counterinsurgency operations.