Seventeen members of the 1st Aviation Brigade, 2-13th Aviation Regiment said goodbye to families and friends on Tuesday morning before departing for Fort Campbell, Ky., from Libby Army Airfield. The men will be gone for just over nine months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, or OEF. Before their departure, Col. Brian Bennett, 1st Avn. Bde. commander, addressed the group, bidding them farewell and a safe, successful mission.
The Quick Reaction Capability, or QRC, will provide reconnaissance and intelligence for coalition forces in the Afghanistan theater.
Members are selected by an order-of-merit list. The ones chosen to go into a QRC are the top Soldiers and noncommissioned officers of their class. Members of the QRC are taught basic aviation tasks and mission systems proficiency in preparation for deployment to those in the field. They are led by the most qualified warrant officers and officer in the Army, according to Maj. David Pierson, the 2-13th Avn. Rgmt. operations officer. All members of the QRC are U.S. Army Soldiers.
QRC members are deployed for a minimum of nine months. Each group is primarily a reconnaissance system used by combat theater ground assets. They provide intelligence gathering, information management, tactical overwatch and early warning for all coalition Soldiers stationed in support of OEF.