1-137th Aviation Regiment adds another successful deployment to its history
By Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (6/29/2021)
About 200 Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment (Assault), located in Columbus, returned home recently after a nearly yearlong overseas deployment.
The unit’s mission while deployed in support of U.S. Central Command included providing aviation support flying the UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter. The 1-137th served as part of the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, which included about 1,400 Soldiers from nine states.
“The Soldiers performed extremely well during the deployment especially considering we did so during an unprecedented world pandemic,” said Lt. Col. John Whitney, commander of the 1-137th. “Soldiers were resilient and pushed through to mission completion.”
"The Soldiers performed extremely well during the deployment especially considering we did so during an unprecedented world pandemic"
It was the first deployment for Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joanna Bradshaw, a UH-60 pilot with Company A, 1-137th. She said the experience was “incredibly rewarding,” and her most memorable moment came during a break on a mission in Saudi Arabia.
“A couple of Saudi Arabian service members saw us, and invited us to a meeting room where there were couches and rugs for us to rest on. We removed our boots out of respect, and shared coffee, tea and dates, and communicated with our allies as much as language barriers would allow. It was really enjoyable to experience a piece of their culture, and learn about their way of life,” Bradshaw said.
The Soldiers are now enjoying time with their families after being away since June 2020. Whitney thanked everyone who supported their Soldiers during the deployment.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude for the sacrifices of our support systems of Family, friends and employers. You are no doubt a part of our success,” he said. “The team has heard me say on multiple occasions I have been on both sides of the deployment fence and I truly believe the sacrifices the families endure are far greater than the deployed Soldiers.”
The unit’s previous deployments were in 2004-05 (Kosovo), 2009-10 (Iraq) and 2015-16 (Kuwait/Iraq).