The commander of Fort Campbell’s 101st Combat Aviation Brigade says Afghan security forces are becoming more capable both on the ground and in the air. Col. Paul Bontrager says Afghans can now medically evacuate their own personnel using helicopters and that the air corps’ success will be vital when the U.S. removes combat forces in 2014.
Leaders from Fort Campbell’s 101st Combat Aviation Brigade will speak with the media today about their first 100 days of deployment to Afghanistan. The brigade went overseas this year to provide helicopter support throughout two regions of the country, including areas where other Fort Campbell units are deployed.
The 101st Airborne Division and its 2nd Brigade Combat Team will hold a memorial service Wednesday to mark the anniversary of a 1985 plane crash that took the lives of 248 Fort Campbell soldiers. It’s been 27 years since Arrow Airlines Flight 1285 crashed in Gander, Newfoundland killing soldiers were from the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
More than 3,400 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell deploy to Afghanistan during the next several months. The Defense Department says about 2,800 from the 4th Brigade and about 620 from Division Headquarters ship out to Afghanistan during the winter and spring.
A soldier assigned to the 101st Airborne Division died Friday in Afghanistan. According to a Department of Defense news release, 20-year-old Pfc. Patricia L. Horne, of Greenwood, Mississippi, died in Bagram. She was a member of the division’s 96th Aviation Support Battalion. The Defense Department did not release cause of death.