Night Stalkers recognize history, look to future



HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. (UNS-CI, Oct. 24, 2007) – Night Stalkers of 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) recognized combat participation and achievement before officially re-designating two of the unit’s companies during a ceremony here Oct. 19.
Col. Kevin Mangum, Commander, 160th SOAR(A), presented the battalion with two battle streamers, one for Operation Enduring Freedom and one for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Meritorious Unit Citation.
Lt. Col. Walter Rugen, Commander, 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR(A), struggled to find the right words to mark these historic unit recognitions.
“In relaying your war stories, courage is always mentioned. Often, I’ve heard it described as more of a feeling, but it’s not,” he told his men standing in formation. “Courage is really action and this unit epitomizes taking action.”
The MUC, equivalent to the Legion of Merit for an individual, is presented to a unit for at least six continuous months of meritorious combat service. According to the unit citation, the battalion received the recognition for valor and gallantry while performing diverse combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan from September 2003 through May 2005.
“We are all standing next to heroes as members of a unit that answered the nation’s call again and again,” said Rugen. “Men individually selected, highly trained, tested by fire who passed the test. Future Night Stalkers will be inspired by you.”
Looking to the future, the battalion ceremoniously recognized a new unit organization that will allow the Night Stalkers to provide more special operations helicopter support to more special operations ground forces more often.
The battalion’s maintenance company was re-flagged from C. Co. to D. Co, 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR(A), and A Co., a Black Hawk helicopter company, was re-flagged to D. Co., 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR(A). This is part of an overall Regiment transformation process creating three battalions with identical structures of two Chinook and one Black Hawk helicopter companies, one maintenance company and one headquarters company.
“The heritage of these two storied companies is long and illustrious. Today marks an end and so we pause to document the rich legacy of our collective pasts and reflect on your accomplishments,” Rugen said. “This re-flagging is a new chapter for your two great companies and I am confident that an even greater story will be written going forward.”
Mangum echoed those sentiments.
“I could not be prouder of this unit, of these Soldiers and officers, for the success they achieve every day,” he said. “They are national treasures and it is my honor and privilege to serve with, for and alongside each and every one.”


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