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Air Operations Group’s colors were uncased Dec. 9, 2005, and presented to the brigade-level aviation command by the commander of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington. The 12th Aviation Battalion, located at Davison Army Airfield, Fort Belvoir, Va., provides a fleet of helicopters for civilian and senior military leaders for transport and provides operational airlift for such tactical units as the Military District of Washington’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the 12th’s own technical rescue unit, the 911th Engineer Company. The United States Army Priority Air Transport Command (USAPAT), headquartered at Andrews, operates from there as well as Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. Its mission is to provide long-range executive airlift around the world.

The Army’s decision to assign USAPAT to MDW came from the Office of the Administrative Assistant, Headquarters Department of the Army. Twelve years earlier, MDW had both fixed and rotary wing operations located at Davison Army Airfield, but reorganization placed the fixed wing assets with those of the National Guard, creating Operational Support Airlift Command in 1994. It in turn was under the Operational Support Airlift Agency. General Orders No. 2, dated Feb. 25, 2004, moving USAPAT from OSAC to the U.S. Army Services and Operations Agency, Office of the Administrative Assistant, HQDA.

The 12th Aviation brought its six companies to the AOG, including its Headquarters Company, two UH-60A/L Flight Companies, Delta Company Maintenance, and the 911th Engineer Company for technical rescue capabilities. Another element, that Davison Airfield Management Command provides, is airfield services and operational support to all of Davison Army Airfield and transient aircraft.

The 18 Black Hawks of the battalion were divided between Alpha and Charlie Companies. Alpha, with VIP transport, owned four VH-60 models and five of the UH-60A/Ls while Charlie Company, a general support aviation company have the other nine UH-60A/Ls. Aircraft coming over with USAPAT included nine short- and long-range fixed-wing aircraft, six of them based at Andrews, two in the Pacific (USAPAC) and one in Europe (USAEUR).The main USAPAT Headquarters at Andrews operated three short-range UC-35 Cessna Citations.

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