Second Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, dedicated Hangar 5 at Fort Huachuca’s Libby Army Airfield to Capt. Bradly Nicka April 25.
Nicka, the former company commander of the fourth rotation of the 2-13th Aviation Regiment’s Quick Reaction Capability One, died on Sept. 14, 2013, at The University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson as a result of medical complications a short time after returning from his last deployment. The hangar on Fort Huachuca is named after him in order to recognize his dedicated leadership and outstanding service to the U.S. Army and to Army aviation.
The Quick Reaction Capability One, an MQ-1C Gray Eagle armed reconnaissance unmanned aircraft system company, trained under and deployed from the 2-13th Aviation Regiment and, once deployed, attached to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment — Airborne.
Formerly of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, Nicka commissioned as an Army aviation officer in May 2006 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NewYork. Following graduation, Nicka attended rotary wing flight training and earned his aviator wings as an OH-58D “Kiowa Warrior” pilot.
Throughout his time in the Army, Nicka led Soldiers as an OH-58D “Kiowa Warrior” pilot, platoon leader, and MQ-1C “Gray Eagle” unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, company commander. Nicka spent seven years and four months as an active duty officer and was assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Huachuca.
Nicka conducted two combat deployments to Afghanistan. During the first, he led Soldiers and flew combat reconnaissance missions from Kandahar Air Base as an OH-58D troop platoon leader assigned to C Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. He earned the Air Medal and Combat Action Badge for his actions throughout multiple combat missions and enemy engagements.
During his second deployment as QRC1-R4 company commander, Nika’s company conducted missions from Bagram Air Base providing daily reconnaissance, surveillance and target Acquisition support to U.S. and Coalition forces throughout Afghanistan.
His company also conducted multiple engagements and target handovers in support of special operations forces imbedded within Afghan villages, resulting in numerous insurgents killed in action. Nicka was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his leadership and meritorious service during combat operations. He also earned the Meritorious Service Medal and multiple campaign medals and awards.
“CPT Nicka rendered distinguished and unparalleled service to the Battalion and UAS community during more than 18 months of company command. His inspiration and leadership were an example to his Soldiers throughout their training in the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and their deployment with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) to Operation Enduring Freedom 12-13” reads the plaque in front of the newly dedicated hangar. “His operational performance was second-to-none, culminating in over 2,750 MQ-1C hours in support of more than 250 combat operations.
“His exceptional capacity for developing new employment techniques for UAS systems has shaped the way unmanned reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition is performed. Dedicated to his Soldiers and Family, CPT Nicka earned a deep-founded respect from all who knew him and fell under his command. CPT Nicka was a compassionate leader, dedicated Soldier and loving husband, father, brother and son.”
Nicka is survived by his wife, Anna, and his daughter, Addison.