Goodbye open skies and special missions around the globe. Hello small cubicle somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon.
That is the new scenery Lt. Col Edwin Brouse’s looked ahead to as he said farewell and relinquished command of the 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment to Lt. Col. Mark Kappelman during a change of command ceremony July 30 at airfield on Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden.
Along with the passing of the command colors, Brouse passed the responsibility of 650 personnel, 49 aircraft — UH60s, C12s/UC35 belonging to VIP general support aviation battalions located in Belgium, Heidelberg, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Landstuhl, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden — to the well-decorated and travelled aviation officer who during his Army career has served in five deployments and other places around the world.
“You’re the absolute right command team to take this unit to the top,” said Brouse to the incoming commander and wife Kelly.
Despite Brouse’s admitted lack of familiarity with mission of the unit before assuming command, it received a number of honors while he was at the helm. Awards and recognitions include the 2011 and 2013 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, Culinary Warrior of the Year, Petroleum Excellence Award, Dustoff Association Rescue and Crew Chief of the Year.
The unit also completed missions in austere and disparate locations around the globe. A few of note include the assumption of the Central Region Medevac mission during Operation Enduring Freedom, numerous deployments to Kuwait, a humanitarian mission to Montenagro where it provided key life support in terms of food, medical aid and rescue. The unit deployed with short notice to support the President of the United States in March to Israel and to Northern Ireland in June for the G8 Summit.
Kappelman commanded the Special Operations Aviation Training Battalion before being selected to command the 1-214th. He returns to Germany having been assigned previously to Giebelstadt Army Airfield.
“We are happy to be in Germany again and look forward to working with our friends and allies in this new setting,”