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Transportation Battalion (AVIM)
2nd Support Command
Looking for more information from military/civilian
personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army
in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any
stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.
Transportation Battalion (AVIM)
Sign in front of Battalion headquarters, Nellingen Kaserne (John Daniel)
394th AVIM work area, Nellingen Kaserne (Ulrich Hempel)
| 394th Trans Bn (AVIM) DUI
SUPCOM (Corps) - 1975 Annual Historical Summary)
1 January 1975 - 23 September 1975
a. At the beginning
of January 1975, the 48th Transportation Company was operating at
Goeppingen, Germany, as a GS Aircraft Maintenance Company in the provisional
Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Battalion headquartered at Nellingen,
b. During the summer
the 48th Transportation Company continued operations in Goeppingen
while preparing to relocate to Nellingen with the 29th Transportation
Company (DS) under the AVIM concept. An advance party, working with
the members of the 29th Transportation Company already at Nellingen
completely rehabilitated the billets to be occupied and began making
useable the hangars the Battalion would utilize.
c. At the beginning
of September the company was ordered to relocate to Nellingen; between
2 September and 17 September all sections had moved and were back
in operation. All personnel who had been occupying barracks at Goeppingen
moved into refurnished barracks at this time.
The mission of the 48th Transportation Company (GS) is to provide
DS/GS Army Aircraft, Avionics, and Armament Maintenance Support for
divisional and non-divisional units in the 2nd SUPCOM area.
a. Provide GS Maintenance
on aircraft engines.
b. Operate the 2nd
SUPCOM area and avionics DX point.
c. Repair PEMA secondary
and stock fund components and repair parts.
d. Provide aircraft
recovery for VII Corps.
3. Significant Unit Activities
a. At the end of
July, the 48th Transportation Company donated over two hundred dollars
to the Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, thereby earning the right
to have a unit plaque with the motto "Support With Pride"
placed in the museum. The money for this donation was earned by the
the Officers and NCO's of the unit as they made targets of themselves
for the "dunk tank" at the company picnic.
b. On 15 July, Maj
Alfred J. Finch assumed command of the company from Maj. Charles B.
c. From the end
of July through the beginning of September, members of the company
refurbished and rehabilitated the billets the units would occupy at
Nellingen. This herculean job resulted in improving the appearance
and liveability of the billets many times over.
1 January 1975 - 23 September 1975
a. The 29th Transportation
Company formerly with Special Troops Battalion was assigned to AVIM
Battalion on 20 January 1975.
b. During the Calendar
year of 1975, the 29th Transportation Company (Direct Support) has
undergone tremendous personnel and mission changes climaxing with
the complete re-organization into the AVIM concept. The personnel
status of the unit has been steadily on the increase from the level
of 190 in January 1975 to 237 on 22 September 1975, at the time of
c. The greatest
change to the mission of the 29th Transportation Company (DS) came
with the re-organization when personnel were distributed and combined
with the assets of the 48th Transportation Company (GS) to create
the Aircraft Repair Company, System
Support Company and Headquarters and
Mission Support Company. The Provisional Companies provide
customer support in the areas of supply and maintenance to some 409
customer aircraft of the VII Corps region.
2. The significant events of the 1975 year are chronologically
listed as follows:
a. 1 July 1975 through
23 September 1975 the Enlisted personnel upgraded the recently vacated
87th Maintenance Battalion Area to create a maintenance facility of
the standards suitable to perform aviation maintenance. This area
was cross-fenced, litter strewn and PSP clad. The buildings were dilapidated,
deterorated and completely unsatisfactory for utilization as an aircraft
maintenance facility. The toil and dedication for the men of the 29th
Transportation Company (DS) resulted in the AVIM Battalion Maintenance
Area. These proud soldiers changed the face of Nellingen Barracks.
b. 1 July 1975 AK4820
assumed the duties of providing supply support for the 12 OV-1D's
of the 73rd MI Company and the 3 OV-1C's of the 330th ASA Det 1.
c. 23 August 1975
1SG James C. Allemon was replaced by 1SG Odd Sorli.
29th Transportation Company (ACFT DS)
a. The following
constitutes a history of the Augmentation 29th Transportation Company
(ACFT DS) from 1 July 1975 to 23 September 1975.
b. The second half
of 1975 opened with 1LT Blazey as Commander and 1SG Medlin as Unit
First Sergeant. 1SG Medlin departed the unit on 29 July 1975 for return
to CONUS where he retired from active military service. SFC Ridgely
S. Coates replaced 1SG Medlin as Unit First Sergeant on 30 July 1975.
c. On 19 July 1975,
2LT Larry D. Harman arrived in the unit as Accountable Officer. As
such, he assumed responsibility for supply functions. The Unit's mission
of providing repair parts to aviation units in USAREUR has remained
unchanged. AK 4024 has remained the outstanding supply activity as
in the past.
a. The following
constitutes a listing of personnel who departed during this period:
The following constitutes a listing of personnel who arrived during
a. AVIM Battalion
Headquarters and 29th Transportation Company began to move to Nellingen
on 2 June 1975. Facilities will be swapped directly with 223rd Avn
Battalion Headquarters, HHC, and 25th Avn Company. Mission activities
of 29th Transportation Company will continue at Echterdingen until
Nellingen is ready, troops will be bused.
b. On 5 June 1975
Corps is waiting on SUPCOM to reevaluate AVIM location and SUPCOM
is waiting on Corps to make the study.
c. Found out the
request to move 29th Transportation Company from Echterdingen to Nellingen
had not yet been approved as of 9 July 1975. The request to move 48th
Transportation Company from Goeppingen to Nellingen has been held
at VII Corps until 29th Transportation Company movement request has
d. A reorganization
ceremony took place on 23 September 1975 and three companies were
created from the assets of the 29th and 48th Transportation Company:
Headquarters and Mission Support Company (PROV); Aircraft Repair Company
(PROV) and System Support Company (PROV). These units constitute the
provisional AVIM Battalion in its entirety.
e. The MTOE's of
the 29th and 48th Transportation Companies were maintained pending
final approval of the draft MTOE's for the Battalion and the provisional
companies. Consequently the end of 1975 found personnel and equipment
of the 48th Transportation Company MTOE spread throughout the Battalion.
Roman L. Chomskis assigned to AVIM Battalion in the CSH slot 17 February
b. CPT Hurd assigned
as S-4 20 February 1975.
Beck assigned as Adjutant 21 April 1975.
Iannarino assigned as Maintenance Opns Officer 28 April 1975.
e. 1LT Donald Strother
originally assigned to 29th Transportation Company, but diverted to
48th Transportation Company 3 July 1975 due to Officer shortage there.
Transportation Battalion (AVIM) 1983 Historical Summary)
The 394th Transportation Battalion Aviation Maintenance was activated
on 20 December 1976, from a provisional maintenance battalion. The
Battalion is organized in a two company configuration, and designed
so it may be expanded to five companies if necessary. Under the present
configuration, the Battalion consists of:
394th Trans Bn (AVIM)
to 1983, the battalion organization consisted of: Hq & A Co, a
Fwd Det (incl in Hq & A Co), and B Co. At that time, Hq &
A Co was located at Nellingen; B Co at Stock Bks and the Fwd Det at
Pastorius Barracks in Nürnberg.
The mission of the 394th Trans Bn (AVIM) is to provide VII Corps units
and units located within the VII Corps sector direct and back-up direct
aviation maintenance and supply support. The 394th is the largest
unit of its type in the US Army and provides maintenance and supply
support for 496 rotary wing aircraft and supply support for 20 fixed
wing aircraft. This support is provided to 25 aviation units located
within a 40,000 square mile area.
|If you have more
information on the history or organization of the 394th Trans Bn,
please contact me.
|(Source: JOBBER, July 4 1983)
394th Trans Bn (AVIM) |
||Article describes the role of test pilots in the AVIM battalion.
from Tim Black)
Ok, here is the
first story, the more military version. I arrived in Nurnberg, Germany
to serve in the 394th FWD DET. in Oct. 1985. I wasn't sure how long
the Detachment was there but it seems to me some of the "old timers"
were there six years or so before I arrived. Our main home unit was
in Nellingen Barracks outside of Stuttgart. We didn't have much to
do with Nellingen other than some unit picnics and change of command
7th Bn, 159th Avn
Decal designed by Tim Black
was in the 394th Fwd Det in Nurnberg, Germany from 1985 to 1987,
then I was in the move to Illesheim when we became 7th Bn, 159th....
I think it would be best if I gave you two separate histories.
main part of the story will be on the 394th Trans Bn AVIM (FWD
history will be the more dry military type, with dates, names
and places. The other will be the more "colorful" version like
how our barracks was in the city of Nurnberg but our hanger
where we worked was close to a half hour's drive outside the
city to support 2 CAS of 2nd ACR. We had to fend for ourselves
to get to work; hitchhike, taxi, subway, city bus or even a
combination of the above.
Also, I am sending you an attachment of the sticker decal that
I designed for the unit; I won a drawing contest and won a 4
day pass. Then I was commissioned to paint a large mural on
the dayroom wall. But this "logo" was for A Co. 7th-159th AVIM
when we turned into a larger unit and moved to Illesheim, Germany...a
Later when I was stationed in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky I was in
H Co.159th, I'm not sure how the units were related. I also
just found a baseball hat where the logo calls us 394th Aviation
Battalion (Maint.) But my unit patch was always the 2nd support
command; blue shield with sword, the one at the top of your
Our Det. CO was Capt. Alexander and later Capt. Joiner. Our orderly
room/headquarters was at Pastorious Strasse, an old train station
depot (WWII era I believe), it was several miles from the nearest
US military installation, it was basically on a German street corner
with no gate or anything. The building also served as the motor pool
and warehouse for aircraft parts. The total number of personnel was
that of a small company = 2 platoons.
One platoon worked at the hanger and the other at headquarters. Most
people were married and lived off post so there was never more than
20 or so troops in the barracks. The barracks was an old German SS
barracks in the suburbs of Nurnberg, about 2 miles from Pastorious.
Our hanger was Feucht Army Airfield outside of Nurnberg in the woods.
We supported 2CAS doing AVIM level work. Armament for the Cobra attack
helicopters. And other maint. like prop and rotor, sheet metal and
avionics on huey's and scouts and later Blackhawks.
Around June of 1987 the entire unit was moved to Illesheim, Germany
and became A Co. 7th-159th Aviation. Illesheim is about an hour from
Nurnberg. The company grew to a rather large company. Half of the
people were moved from Nellingen. The new mission seemed to be geared
for the support of the new Apaches and Blackhawks. Our new company
Commander was a Major Townsend. The First Sergeant was named Estes.
I left Germany in Dec. 1988 to go to Ft. Campbell, KY. After I left
I had heard indications that that my former unit was deployed to the
first Gulf War. So I'm not sure how long A Co. lasted, also with the
cold war winding down.
Now I'll tell you how this unit operated, not so much the actual job
but the "colorful" things that surrounded it...although sometimes
hard to believe. I first arrived in Germany fresh out of AIT in Oct.
1985 (Frankfurt) a handful of friends from AIT joined me for the flight
over from Philadelphia. After a few days in Frankfurt they sent the
lot of us on a German luxury bus to Nurnberg to 2CAS. It took us all
day to get there cause we stopped at every little base on the way,
but things were looking up, we would all be stationed together! When
we got off the bus downtown Nurnberg at the Bavarian American hotel
(late afternoon) a SGT. stopped us at the front door and stated that
everyone would stay at Nurnberg except for me and another friend,
we would be returning to Frankfurt reception center the following
morning. We were really disappointed cause the city looked awesome
from my hotel window, words can't describe the hustle and bustle.
The next morning we left our 3 other friends behind and went back
After a few more days at Frankfurt they put me and my friend on a
bus to Stuttgart/Nellingen/394th AVIM. When we got there I think we
stayed one night or so and meanwhile up walks another buddy from AIT
that didn't come over with us cause he was on leave in Colorado. We
were then informed that we were going back to Nurnberg to the 394th
FWD DET!! And we would support 2CAS and probably see our friends.
Only one problem, our entire (future unit) of the 394th fwd det. was
currently in the field near the Swiss border! It was chilly Oct. and
they put us in the back of a covered CUCV Chevy pickup at night. It
took us hours to get there. When we got there our new unit was in
the field in a German civilian factory/warehouse nowhere near a US
base. We walked in where all the cots were and got tons of stares
from everyone. What in the hell were "newbees" doing here? They could
just tell with our new sharp uniforms, no TA50 gear and our civilian
suitcases and what not. I even had my electric bass guitar with me!!!
I slept on an extra cot overnight freezing with maybe a blanket. The
next morning they grabbed me for details and I was more worried about
my guitar, I kept moving it out of the way of trucks and such. Anyways
that very morning we were told that a German double decker luxury
bus was going to take the entire unit back home to Nurnberg. M16's
in the overhead luggage racks and all.
While waiting for the bus we were cold and hungry...some of the old
timers told us about the barracks we would be living in; Merrell Barracks
(Gangster Hotel) Sud Kaserne. They said there was still bullet holes
from WWII and the hallways were about a mile long, 4 and 5 stories
high and covered an entire city block. It was a 10 minute walk to
the nearest subway. I had to see this to believe it...being a WWII
history buff and all. Late afternoon we arrived in Nurnberg and saw
the infamous barracks, with bullet holes and all. The walls range
from 3 to 5 feet thick so they were more like craters. It was a novelty
to live there but it wasn't much fun. It was being remodeled on the
inside so we had to deal with the following; no heat, no hot water
or maybe no water at all. When it rained like hell you would collect
the inside wall in buckets.
One morning when I went to the latrine the floor drain was plugged
and there was about 2" deep pool of urine to look at. We were on the
4th floor, just a rag tag band. Nobody on base knew we existed and
if we got in trouble downtown the UP's had a hard time locating us.
We had no base responsibilities. Remember, our headquarters Pastorious
was a few miles away so some mornings we would take a city bus from
our barracks to Pastorious to hold formation. Then they would tell
us to go to work out in Feucht Army Airfield. That's about a 30 minute
drive outside the city actually in the woods. How would we get to
work? Sometimes hitch a ride in a POV. On the back of a uncovered
CUCV, Taxi or Steet Car. But the most common way we went was to take
a city bus a few minutes to the nearest subway (U-BAHN) stop and head
south about 5 or 6 subway stops to an above ground Mall at Langwasser
Mitte. We might sneak to McDonalds or catch a hot pretzel vendor for
breakfast. We caught another city bus to a small village of Moorenbrunn.
Got off and walked down the sidewalk, took a left and went through
several German's back yards...walked along the highway (autobahn)
for a stretch and finally walked up the road to the airfield. Sometimes
when we got there we would be informed that we had an appointment
at Finance in Furth/Darby Kaserne. That's on the north end of Nurnberg!
apx. 500,000 people city. We had to do everything in reverse but add
about 5 to 10 more subway stops and a long walk, that pretty much
took care of a typical workday in the 394th.
Hope I didn't bore you with all this rambling but I love the excuse
to tell this story. Every day was a new adventure in the 394th FWD
DET. It broke our hearts when the unit became 7th-159 A Co and moved
to ILLESHEIM, a small town! One day they told us to pack and that
was it.....a lot of us came back to visit on weekends though.
Bn, 159th Avn
Battalion, 159th Aviation Regtiment web site)
394th Trans (AVIM) was redesignated 7th Battalion, 159th Aviation
Regiment in November 1987 after the creation of Aviation as a separate
The 159th Regiment brought with it a proud lineage and history of
service in Vietnam while assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.
The battalion consisted of Headquarters and Headquarters Company
and Bravo Company located at Nelligen Barracks in Stuttgart, and
Alpha Company located in Illesheim.
Under subsequent reorganization of USAREUR forces, the HQ was established
at Illesheim and Bravo Company at Giebelstadt.
In August of 1990, the battalion was alerted for movement to South
West Asia, in support of VII Corps units deployed to “Operation
Desert Shield/Desert Storm”. The Battalion’s soldiers and equipment
provided AVIM support throughout Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the
Gulf War. The unit accomplished two tactical moves in support of
over 800 aircraft. After the war, the battalion returned to Germany
and began the difficult task of unit recovery and relocation as
VII Corps drew down.
7th Bn, 159th Avn
, 7th Bn, 159th Avn
Co , 7th Bn, 159th Avn
Citizen, Nov 3 1986)
'forgotten platoon' keep military intelligence flying
By Charles E. Gordon, 2nd SUPCOM PAO
Although they are sometimes referred to as the "forgotten platoon,"
the soldiers of the 394th Aviation Battalion (Maintenance) Fixed
Wing Detachment know who they are and what they do.
Working on the sophisticated systems of the OV -1 and RV-1 Mohawk
airplanes, a handful of men and women provide the only fixed wing
AVIM support in VII Corps. Working out of the Stuttgart Army Airfield,
the detachment supports the 2nd Military Inelligence Battalion.
AVIM, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance, is the level of maintenance
between user service and complete overhaul. "We work on almost all
aspects of the aircraft, from electronics to hydraulics to engines
and ejection seats. Without us, the 2nd M.I. couldn't fly!" said Sgt.
Randall Erwin, engine shop supervisor.
Even though some of the aircraft have been flying missions since 1962,
they still perform and the Army has not begun to consider them obsolete.
"If these aircraft were judged by automobile standards, some of them
would be antiques. Aggressive maintenance keeps them in shape," said
Sgt. Will Kiper, avionics supervisor.
Officially serving under Company B, 394th, the detachment feels strong
ties to the 2nd M.I. Formerly part of the 73rd Military Intelligence
Company, the detachment provided support of the company, but wasn't
officially an AVIM unit. Under a reorganization of the M.I. battalion,
the detachment stood to lose some of its slots until the 394th took
over its operations a year ago. The unit remained at Echterdingen,
giving support to the M.I. battalion's A and B companies.
The detachment maintains day-to-day contact with Company B at Nellingen
Barracks. Company B's First Sergeant Herman Harper said that the detachment
does an excellent job, and being an "old fixed wing man" himself,
he keeps a close eye on them.
SFC Walter Murry, quality control NCO, said that the soldiers he worked
with are motivated and disciplined, and work long hard hours to keep
the job moving.
PFC Barry Chatagnier, although a Mohawk repairer, works as the detachment
"I took this position as a challenge, to demonstrate that I am able
and willing to work hard and do a good job, to take initiative. In
supply, I work on a 24-hour-day on-call basis, seven days a week.
I have to handle large volumes of high value inventory and be able
to account for any given piece or produce any needed item on a moment's
notice," he said.
Another dedicated soldier in the detachment received a Safety Certificate
of Achievement from the 2nd M.I. In March, the M.I. battalion awarded
SP4 Thomas Holmes the certificate, citing cleanliness, attention to
detail and constant, proper use of sight and hearing saving devices.
"Working on these plains gives us a sense of purpose that I don't
think exists in some units. Our aircraft fly real missions. Sometimes
we've got an hour to get a plane ready to go, and we know it's not
because somebody wants to get in a little flight time, said Holmes.
May 24, 1987)
394th AVIM: The brains of the battalion
by Chuck Gordon
"B Company may be the working arm of the 394th, but A Company is the
brains behind the arm!!" said a soldier from A Company, 394th Maintenance
And essentially, that has a grain of truth in it. A Company, or actually
Headquarters and A, contains the headquarters and staff elements of
"The company is a peculiar unit in several ways," said 1st Sgt. Wylie
B. Estes. "For one, we are a combined company, with the headquarters,
and we also provide the aviation Class IX support for VII Corps.
"In addition," he continued, "we've got a Maintenance Operations section
which is unique to aviation units. They perform a coordination mission
with the elements of the Corps that we support, in terms of air missions,
maintenance and safety of flight messages."
According to Estes, the company is composed of the headquarters element,
an aviation Supply Support Activity, the Maintenance Operations Section,
a Flight Section, and the company motor pool.
"This is a smooth running outfit, with a headquarters element and
an operational mission. It's rough sometimes, but we keep it smooth,"
said Maj. William C. Townsend, company commander.
The company's Flight Section is
unique in 2nd SUPCOM, and even unsual in VII Corps. Composed of a
Flight Operations section, POL section, Aviation Life Support section,
and the Maintenance section, the platoon handles all air traffic in
the company, and coordinates all flight training and tesying in 2nd
SUPCOM. They also provide the fuel support for the battalion, pumping
in excess of 11,000 gallons of aviation fuel per month, according
to SFC John Brinegar, technical inspector for the platoon.
"Basically, we have a training support mission. We take care of and
crew chief the aircraft that are used by the aviator-qualified officers
to maintain current flight status," said SP4 John D. Price, UH-1H
"On the ground, we make sure the aircraft are mission capable, by
inspection and maintenance. And in the air, we act as an extra pair
of eyes for the pilot. Because there are only five crew chiefs and
more than 30 pilots that we fly for, we stay busy. I guess that I
put in anywhere from 10 to 40 flying hours per month," said Price.
He noted that a crew chief must maintain at least four hours per month
to stay in flight status.
In addition to keeping up with the pilot's requirements in the battalion
and 2nd SUPCOM, the flight section must keep their flying within the
restrictions of the local population.
"Naturally, we cannot fly at all on German holidays, and we have to
have a real good reason to fly on weekends, and there are 'quiet hours'
that we have to observe," said SFC Daniel Rose, platoon sergeant.
"That can be good, and it can be bad. What happens is the no-fly times
serve us as maintenance time, and gives us more actual time to spend
on the aircraft," he continued.
The maintenance sergeant for the platoon, SSgt. Charles G. Branch,
credits the crew chiefs with holding maintenance time for serious
defects to a minimum, and with taking care of a task designed for
almost twice as many people as the platoon actually has.
"These guys get out here and work hard," Branch said. "They are the
ones who keep our aircraft up, and keep them running smoothly. They
are the ones who get out sometimes two or three times a day to get
the pilots in the air. They deserve the credit for a job well done."
Another hard working crew runs the Supply
Support Activity. Estes said that the SSA works extended
hours, sometimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to get parts and
equipment out to the Corps.
"We support non-divisional and divisional aviation with Class IX items,
a repairable exchange items program. We are the central point in VII
Corps for Army Intensive Management items, as well as for Quick Supply
Stores and the Operational Readiness Float aircraft accounts for our
customer units," said Sgt. Rick Savage, Stock Control NCOIC.
As a major non-divisional aviation SSA, the soldiers may process thousands
of items each monh. The SSA's computer has processed as many as 20,000
transactions in a daily run.
The SSA has a working agreement with the Civilian Support Groups of
2nd SUPCOM to share computer time on an as-needed basis. This helps
handle the load, and acts as a backup in the event of breakdowns or
emergencies, said Capt. Phillip Gianni, platoon leader.
"My soldiers here do a remarkable job, in light of the details and
training that are required of us, Gianni said. "This warehouse is
comparable to the warehouse of a major department store or factory
back in the States, and really, we probably move more inventory than
most of them."
In the company's headquarters element,
the soldiers make up the staff sections and orderly room, and work
to maintain the load of personnel actions, duties, supply needs, logistical
coordination, and training of the battalion's soldiers.
"I was in a cavalry unit before, and when we got a mission, we got
up and went. That's it, just went. But here, we have a peacetime mission
to support. It's hard to get away to do the training we need. And
it's impossible to get up and go as a battalion, like we did in the
cav," said Estes. "And we're dealing with a company, A Company, that's
about twice the size of a line company. B Compan's about twice our
size too, so in the company itself, we've got twice the work just
keeping house. And the staff sections have to do the work, keeping
up with the huge battalion as a whole."
Estes said that the company has been emphasizing training and PT,
both at company and section level, and that he was pleased with the
steady improvements the soldiers were making in Common Task Testing,
PT testing and Skill Qualification testing."
"We've been steadily gaining, and the last PT test results are a drastic
improvement. I plan to continue to put an emphasis on training and
get my people the best that we can. This company is a challenge, and
I like challenges," said Estes.
Townsend agreed, and added, "This was a good unit when I got here,
and it's better now than when I arrived. A Company is solid!"
March 2, 1987)
'Working Arm' of 394th Trans.
by Chuck Gordon
B Company, 394th Aviation Battalion (Maintenance) doesn't get to fly
much, but they keep aircraft belonging to VII Corps and other units
in the air.
As the only Aviation Intermediate Maintenance (AVIM) unit in VII Corps,
the 394th is responsible for keeping the helicopters, and some fixed-wing
craft, in the air, through an aggressive maintenance and repair program.
The aircraft are sent either to the 394th, or the company sends out
contract teams to inspect, repair or recover the aircraft, bringing
it to a location where it can be fixed.
B Company is the "working arm" of the 394th, the soldiers who bring
the work in -- fix it, test it, and get it back in the air again.
The company consists of several platoons, either oriented to working
on specific types of aircraft, or on specific parts of the aircraft.
The UH and OH/AH platoons support VII Corps and divisional units by
working on specific helicopters. The UH Platoon
works on and maintains utility helicopters, the UH-1 H Iroquois (Huey),
and the UH-60 Black Hawk. The OH/AH Platoon
takes care of observation and attack helicopters, OH-58 Kiowas, Scouts,
and AH-1 Cobras.
Among the services the platoons provide is the "phase inspection."
When an aircraft logs a specified number of in-flight hours, it undergoes
a rigorous inspection from the inside out. This involves taking the
helicopter apart, piece by piece, checking every detail, and reassembling
the entire craft. The soldiers work around the clock to complete the
inspection and get the aircraft back to the customer.
Avionics is the nerve system of an aircraft. B Company is the home
of the only AVIM-level avionics shop
in the VII Corps area. Soldiers assigned to the shop inspect, repair
and replace the communications, navigation and radar equipment in
aircraft belonging to the 25th Aviation Company, 421st Medical Company
(AA), and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, among others.
Everything from welding, to sheet metal work, to painting can be found
in B Company's shops. The consolidated
Shop Platoon maintains a complete machine shop, capable
of making anything from a hard-to-find rivet to a special wrench.
The company also has a large motor stable, containing their vehicles,
which range from jeeps and CUCVs, to massive "low-boys;" flatbed trailers
big enough to haul an aircraft behind a five-ton tractor.
The Headquarters Platoon runs
the show, managing the affairs and training of their company. And
the more than 400 soldiers assigned to B Company make a formidable
force to keep up with.
One of B Company's primary concerns, after completing their mission,
is community service. The company tries to stay involved in the local
community, as individual soldiers, families, and as a unit.
During the recent Christmas holiday period, the company hosted a party
and dinner for unit soldiers and their families. They also invited
several refugee families, from Eastern Block nations such as East
Germany and Poland, who got a first-hand taste of American hospitality
and holiday cheer. The event was organized in cooperation with a local
Protestant church which assists the refugees in starting a new life
in the free world.
The company also enthusiastically supports relations with the 394th's
Partnership unit, the Luftfahrzeug Technische Abteilung 202.
In addition, soldiers from the company participate in a vigorous sports
program, regularly fielding teams for softball, volleyball and basketball.
Activities for the soldiers and families are frequent, and well-attended.
B Company is a busy unit, working hard and playing hard. But some
soldiers, such as SSgt. Eric Scott, operations NCO, have been with
the unit for years, and plan to stay in the unit for as long as possible.
As Scott said, "B Company is where it's at for me. We've got a good
unit, good troops, and a good plan."