Change of Command for 211th Aviation Group and 1-211th Aviation Battalion

 

Written by Maj. Hank McIntire

Published November 20, 2005

       
Soldiers of the 211th Aviation Battalion in formation at the Nov. 18 change-of-command ceremony at West Jordan Armory.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Soldiers of the 211th Aviation Battalion in formation at the

Nov. 18 change-of-command ceremony at West Jordan Armory.

WEST JORDAN, Utah The 211th Aviation Group of the Utah Army National Guard conducted two change-of-command ceremonies Nov. 18 at the West Jordan armory.

In the first ceremony, Col. Greggory Cluff officially relinquished command of the 211th  to Col. Dana Yetton. Immediately following, Lt. Col. Scott Robinson turned the reins of 1st Attack Helicopter Battalion, 211th  Aviation, to new commander Maj. William Cluff.

The mission of the 211th is to provide command, control and supervision of the Corps Attack Helicopter Battalions.  Its subordinate units include Headquarters Company, 211th Aviation Regiment; 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment and Detachment 50, Operational Support Airlift.

Col. Cluff, an AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk and C-12 pilot, commanded the 211th since June 2003. During the same period he also served as full-time Director of Aviation and Safety of the Utah National Guard.

During Cluff’s tenure, elements of the 211th served in Afghanistan and Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, trained in Nicaragua and Korea and supported relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf Coast region.

Col. Dana Yetton, left, receives the 211th Aviation Group's colors from Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Col. Dana Yetton, left, receives the 211th Aviation Group's colors from Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard.

At the ceremony Cluff highlighted the accomplishments of the 211th and thanked his family and his Soldiers for the great things they had done.

Cluff will continue his service in the Utah National Guard as the full-time Camp Williams training site manager.

Robinson, outgoing commander of the 1-211th, led his 350 Soldiers during their deployment to Afghanistan in 2004-05. The unit's accomplishments included logging 17,000 Apache helicopter flight hours, transporting more than 42,000 personnel, conducting 10 aircraft recoveries, capturing thousands of pounds of enemy munitions, hauling five million pounds of cargo and flying nearly 2,000 air-assault, escort, and security missions. The 1-211th also distributed over 100,000 pounds of humanitarian aid.

Robinson, in his remarks during the ceremony, thanked his family, his Soldiers and paid tribute to Chief Warrant Officer Ted Cotro-Manes and Staff Sgt. Alan Rogers, members of the 1-211th who passed away in the past year.

Robinson was the full-time commander of the Army Aviation Support Facility during his time as 1-211th commander and replaced Cluff as the Utah Guard's Director of Aviation and Safety.

Maj. William Cluff, left, receives the 1-211th Aviation Battalion's colors from Col. Dana Yetton, new commander of the 211th Aviation Group.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Maj. William Cluff, left, receives the 1-211th Aviation Battalion's colors from Col. Dana Yetton, new commander of the 211th Aviation Group.

At the ceremony, Yetton, a UH-1 pilot and 29-year veteran of the Rhode Island and Utah National Guards, outlined for his Soldiers his vision for the 211th.

"I'm humbled to be able to take command of this unit. I am committed to empowering and resourcing you Soldiers to do what you do best," Yetton said.

"We have a long and successful heritage to live up to, and we will provide the heritage for those who follow us 20 years from now." he added.

In addition to serving as commander of the 211th, he will continue as the full-time Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel of the Utah National Guard.

Speaking as the brand-new commander of the 1-211th, Maj. Cluff, an AH-64 Apache pilot, expressed appreciation and gave his Soldiers their first marching order.

"I thank my wife Lauri for her continued support and General Tarbet and Colonel Yetton for their trust and confidence in me," Cluff said. "I will do everything I can to do things right, and I'm asking you Soldiers to make sure you make me do what's right."

As part of the ceremony,  the wives of the four commanders received bouquets of red roses in recognition for their critical role in the success of their husbands' commands.

Concluding the ceremony, Col. Cluff was presented with the Army Commendation Medal by Maj. Gen. Tarbet, and received an eagle statuette in appreciation for his service, while Robinson received from his Soldiers a framed photo of an Apache helicopter landing in Afghanistan.

Col. Greggory Cluff, left, outgoing commander of the 211th Aviation Group, receives from Maj. Paul Brady a bronze eagle statuette for his great leadership of the 700 Soldiers in the unit.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Col. Greggory Cluff, left, outgoing commander of the 211th Aviation Group, receives from Maj. Paul Brady a bronze eagle statuette

for his great leadership of the 700 Soldiers in the unit.

Maj. Tom Copeland, left, presents Lt. Col. Scott Robinson with a framed photo of an Apache helicopter in Bagram, Afghanistan, as a token of appreciation for his service as commander of the 1-211th.

Photo by Maj. Hank McIntire

Maj. Tom Copeland, left, presents Lt. Col. Scott Robinson with

a framed photo of an Apache helicopter in Bagram, Afghanistan,

as a token of appreciation for his service as commander of the 1-211th.