The New York Army National Guard’s (ARNG’s) 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment (3-142nd AVN), ended its ten-month mission to the Middle East when a transition of authority ceremony was held at Camp Buehring in Kuwait on May 6.
The unit deployed to Kuwait with 22 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk battlefield utility helicopters and 250 soldiers in June 2022 to support Task Force Spartan – a unique, multi-component 10,000-strong soldier force presence that is made up of active-duty US Army and ARNG units, with support from the US Army Reserve. The 3-142nd AVN has now handed over its duties to the New York ARNG’s 1-106th AVN, with the departing unit currently in the process of returning to Fort Hood, Texas, from which the soldiers will demobilise and return home, while undergoing a Yellow Ribbon process to help them transition back to their civilian lives.
The 3-142nd AVN departs the Middle East after flying a total of 5,030 operational flight hours, moving 6,384 passengers and 129 tons of cargo across Kuwait and Iraq under the direct command of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) and Texas ARNG. The battalion was also responsible for flying distinguished visitors, including US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin, around the region. It also participated in Exercise Juniper Oak with the Israeli Defense Forces in January, before taking part in a large-scale multinational live-fire exercise to mark Kuwait’s liberation from Iraqi forces in the Persian Gulf in February. The unit also served as the aviation element for a regional crisis response task force during the deployment.