6-17th ARS Transfer of Authority Ceremony
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- The 4th Armed Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment transferred authority and equipment to the 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment during a ceremony at Camp Humphreys, June 25, 2013.
Lt. Col. Brian Watkins cased the colors for the 4-6 ARS, signifying the successful completion of that unit's deployment. Following this, Lt. Col. Matthew F. Ketchum uncased the colors for the 6-17 CAV officially beginning their role as the fully-trained and ready Armed Reconnaissance Squadron for the 2nd Infantry Division.
Guests of honor were U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Bernard Champoux, the 8th U.S. Army commanding general, Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal and Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, 2nd Infantry Division command team, Republic of Korea's Army Lt. Col. Jong Wook Kim and Sgt. Maj. Seung Jun Choi, Area III ROK command team.
Col. William D. Taylor, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade commander, mentioned the significance of June 25. "It is appropriate to hold this ceremony today, on the 64th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. It is fitting," Taylor said, "and demonstrates the commitment of the United States Forces Korea to providing continued support on the Korean Peninsula."
Briefly listing some of the accomplishments of the outgoing rotational unit, Taylor included the mention of the overwater hellfire gunnery and combined arms live fire exercises conducted by the 4-6 ARS. "Flying over 5,000 hours in the air, and driving more than 60,000 miles on the ground," Taylor said. "You have set the standard for all future rotational units to follow."
Following Taylor, the 4-6 ARS commander echoed the pride held for all of the Soldiers who had worked so hard to ensure the success of the nine-month deployment. "This air cavalry squadron led the way as the Army's first battalion level rotational unit sent to the Republic of Korea," Watkins said. "We have increased combat readiness and captured lessons learned, setting the conditions for those units joining us and for those units following us."
"Our Troopers forged new partnerships with elements of the 2nd CAB, 2nd Infantry Division, 8th Army, our sister services and the RoK Army, always living the motto 'One Team, One Fight!' I cannot say enough about their efforts," Watkins said, inspiring a round of applause.
Final remarks came from the incoming 6-17 CAV commander. "As the second rotational aviation unit to deploy to the Republic of Korea, we stand ready to replace the 4-6th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron in support of the Presidential strategy to rebalance the Pacific," Ketchum said.