California Aviators Take The Lead In Iraq Skies

FRESNO, Calif. --

The California Army National Guard will take the lead in the skies of Iraq when the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade arrives in the country early next year to provide full-spectrum aviation operations across Iraq during a year-long deployment in support of Operation New Dawn.

Commander Col. Mitchell Medigovich said the unit will oversee soldiers and hundreds of helicopters in providing aviation services, including reconnaissance, security and air movement, during the draw down of U.S. forces in Iraq.

“The soldiers of the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade are ready for operations in Iraq and will serve citizens of California (by) proudly during this historic deployment,” Medigovich said.

The unit held a farewell ceremony Sunday at Clovis Memorial Hall before it flies out of its headquarters in Fresno Dec. 1 for Fort Hood, Texas, for eight weeks of training before leaving for Iraq in January.

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