Utah National Guard Activates New Unit: Second Battalion, 211th Aviation Group

 

Written by Maj. Hank McIntire

Published December 8, 2005

       
Soldiers of the new 2-211th Aviation Battalion in formation at the Dec. 3 activation ceremony at West Jordan Armory.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Soldiers of the new 2-211th Aviation Battalion in formation

 at the Dec. 3 activation ceremony at West Jordan Armory.

WEST JORDAN, Utah The Utah National Guard activated the new Second Battalion, 211th Aviation Group, in an official ceremony Dec. 3. at the West Jordan armory.

Maj. Lamar Blair assumed command of approximately 500 Soldiers in Utah, Iowa, and Minnesota. In his civilian employment, Blair is a police officer with the Salt Lake Police Department.

Command Sgt. Maj. Danny Gordon will be the senior enlisted Soldier in the battalion.

The mission of the 2-211th is to function as a general-support aviation battalion by providing troop and equipment movement and supporting civilian state and federal agencies as needed with missions such as airlift, fighting wildfires and search and rescue.

According to Brig. Gen. Bruce Frandsen, Assistant Adjutant General - Army, of the Utah National Guard, the selection of Utah as the home of this new battalion was due to the history of great support that the 211th has provided to the Army Aviation community.

Maj. Lamar Blair, right, unfurls the 2-211th battalion colors for the first time with assistance from Command Sgt. Maj. Danny Gordon.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Maj. Lamar Blair, right, unfurls the 2-211th battalion colors for the

 first time with assistance from Command Sgt. Maj. Danny Gordon.

"The 211th has performed admirably in its overseas missions over the years, and the leaders who have gone before have set the stage for this new opportunity," Frandsen said.

The new helicopter battalion, which began operations Oct. 1, will include a UH-60 Blackhawk company, a UH-60Q Medevac Blackhawk company, a CH-47 Chinook company and maintenance and ground-support companies.

Two of the companies in the battalion are scheduled to deploy overseas sometime in the spring of 2006.

Col. Dana Yetton, commander of 211th Aviation Group, spoke to the Soldiers assembled.

"I'm excited for what your future holds. I'm confident in your leaders' ability to build you into this country's premier aviation organization. I know you will set the standard of excellence," Yetton said.

"With the creation and organization of this new battalion, our security and ability to respond to state and federal emergencies are greatly increased," Blair told his Soldiers in his remarks. "I approach my duties as your commander with humility yet secure in the knowledge that we will not fail."

"More important than anything to me is to work among fellow Soldiers who take care of each other. It's all about the team," Blair added.

Maj. Lamar Blair, left, speaks to the 2-211th Aviation Battalion for the first time as their new commander.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Maj. Lamar Blair, left, speaks to the 2-211th Aviation

Battalion for the first time as their new commander.

2nd Lt. Jeremy Tannahill, center, acting commander of Delta Company, 2-211th Aviation Battalion, unfurls his unit's colors.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

2nd Lt. Jeremy Tannahill, center, acting commander of Delta Company, 2-211th Aviation Battalion, unfurls his unit's colors.