Night Stalker battalion changes command


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. (USASOC News Service, June 23, 2011) – Lt. Col. Kirk E. Keepers relinquished command of 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) to Lt. Col. William T. Golden, IV in a ceremony here June 16.

Col. John W. Thompson, the 160th SOAR commander, emphasized the importance of the battalion’s mission and choosing the right leader to command.

“Commanding this formation of (more than) 600 Night Stalkers has strategic implications,” said Thompson. “A wise decision was made when Kirk Keepers was selected to command this unique formation.”

Keepers assumed command of the battalion in June 2009, where he has overseen continuous deployments supporting operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn in Iraq, Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan and regular overseas training events supporting Special Operations Command South.
“Your leadership, insight, vision and sincerity have left a tremendous mark on this unit and shaped the conditions for its continued success in the future,” said Thompson.

In his farewell remarks, Keepers recognized contributions of Night Stalkers standing in formation and those currently taking the fight to the enemy in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations throughout the world.

Thompson also welcomed Golden and his family to command.
“Our Night Stalkers and their Families are fortunate to have you taking the reigns,” he said. We look forward to working with you as we build upon the foundation that those before us have so masterfully prepared.”

Golden, a long time Night Stalker, becomes only the twelfth commander of the battalion. He thanked his family for their unwavering support throughout his military career and addressed the Soldiers in his new formation.

“It’s a privilege to be here today to lead this nation’s very finest Soldiers. They are a special breed, the Night Stalkers,” said Golden. “The Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers of third battalion, are the best. Because of you and the support of our Families, third battalion will continue to achieve success.”

Golden most recently served as the Regimental transformation officer at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Lt. Col. William T. Golden, IV (left) accepts the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Colors from Col. John W. Thompson, commander, 160th SOAR (A), as he assumes command from Lt. Col. Kirk E. Keepers during a ceremony at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., June 16, 2011. (160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment courtesy photo.)