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NEWS | Jan. 2, 2024

Oklahoma National Guard Aviation Unit Deploying to Kosovo

By Leanna Maschino, Oklahoma National Guard

TULSA, Okla. – Loved ones gathered alongside nearly 50 Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen during a deployment ceremony Dec. 30 at the Army Aviation Support Facility 2 in Tulsa.

Members of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion (Assault Helicopter Battalion), 244th Aviation Regiment, 90th Troop Command, will deploy overseas to Kosovo to support Operation Joint Guardian (KFOR). KFOR is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo comprising 27 partner nations.

“Thank you for answering the call,” said Col. Robert Walker, commander of 90th Troop Command. “Thank you for volunteering in the U.S. Army and the Oklahoma Army National Guard. To the family members, thank you for supporting these Soldiers. I know how much of a burden it is on you when we leave. Know that the mission matters and what we bring when we go somewhere is stability and safety for the people there.”

The 1-244th AHB, comprised of units from Louisiana (HHC), Iowa (MEDEVAC) and Oklahoma (AHB), will provide KFOR with 24/7 medevac coverage and air movement and air assault capabilities. The AHB will provide the air transport and air assault capabilities with UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters throughout the area of operations.

“I am incredibly grateful for each of you and I am so proud of your resolve and your sacrifice and all that we have accomplished thus far,” said Capt. Jimmy Norvell, commander of the 1-244th AHB. “In times like these, it’s crucial to embrace a warrior’s mentality—a spirit that is unyielding in the face of adversity, unwavering in its commitment to duty and unshakeable in its devotion to protecting the freedoms we hold dear.”

The unit will move on to Fort Cavazos, Texas, for training before heading overseas. They are expected to return in the fall.



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