HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, GA – This year’s annual Savannah Week of Night Stalker Activities recognized 20 years of aviation support to Special Operations Forces last week for 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).
“An anniversary event like SWONSA is an excellent way to develop relationships between current and former unit members, remember past accomplishments and thank the surrounding community for their continued support,” said Lt. Col. Kirk Keepers, the battalion commander.
On Sept. 16, 1989, Company A, formerly the 129th Aviation Company, expanded into its present configuration and was activated as 3rd Bn., 160th SOAR (A).
Three short months after the activation ceremony, elements of the unit deployed in support of Operations Just Cause and Promote Liberty, beginning a steady stream of support to U.S. combatant commanders across a wide range of military operations.
The battalion has been involved with every major conflict since its inception to include, but not limited to; Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Southwest Asia, Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti, the NATO peacekeeping Operation Joint Endeavor in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
The unit earned the Lieutenant General Ellis D. Parker Award as the “Most Outstanding Aviation Battalion in the Army” in 1993. The unit was also awarded the Army Superior Unit Award in 1995 and 1996. In 2007 it was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last week’s activities included sporting events amongst unit teams, a battalion picnic and social, a golf tournament and the culminating event: a Battalion Formal on Saturday evening.
“In military units like the 160th SOAR, esprit de corps is essential,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Estevan Sotorosado, the battalion command sergeant major. “ The events this week helped strengthen those ties and linked Nightstalkers with their past, establishing excellent esprit de corps and instilling a warrior spirit.”
With the 20th Anniversary celebration complete, the battalion will now look forward to the future and continue to prepare for the next challenge and ensuring the Soldiers, their Families and the unit are ready.