The Combat Aviation Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division is a subordinate command of the 42nd Infantry Division. Once contained solely within New York, force reductions and reorganizations have resulted in units from several different states making up the brigade.
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), Latham, NY
- 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment, Ronkonkoma, NY
- Company A, Latham, NY
- Company B, Ronkonkoma, NY
- Company D, Latham, NY
- Company E, Farmingdale, NY
- Detachment 2, Company A, 1st Security & Support Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment (S&S)
- Detachment 3, Company E, 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment
- 642nd Aviation Support Battalion (642nd ASB), Rochester, NY
- HHC, Rochester, NY
- Detachment 2, HHC 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment (3-126th Aviation Battalion) (TOC) at Rochester
- Detachment 1, Company B, 3-126th Aviation Battalion (heavy lift) at Rochester
- Detachment 2, Company D, 3-126th Aviation Battalion (maintenance) at Rochester
- Detachment 2, Company E, 3-126th Aviation Battalion (support) at Rochester
- Company A, Dunkirk, NY
- Detachment 1 at Olean, NY
- Company B, Ronkonkoma, NY
- Company C, Brooklyn, NY
- C Company 1st General Support Aviation Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment (C-1-171st GSAB) at Rochester
- Detachment 2, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (2-HHC), 1-171st GSAB at Rochester
- Company C, 1-171st GSAB at Rochester
- Detachment 2, Company D, 1-171st GSAB at Rochester
- Detachment 1, Company E, 1-171st GSAB
- HHC, Rochester, NY
Activation and history
The New York National Guard played an active role in Army aviation from the early 1900s through the end of World War II. The Combat Aviation Brigade, 42d Infantry Division traces its history from 1947, when the post-World War II reorganization of the United States military created the United States Air Force as an entity separate from the Army. This reorganization also led to the creation of two divisions within the National Guard, the Army National Guard, and the Air National Guard.
In 1947 the New York Army National Guard fielded a fixed wing aviation detachment of L-19 "Bird Dogs" assigned to Miller Field on Staten Island. This detachment and aircraft from the II Corps and 101st Armored Cavalry Regiment were organized as the 42d Aviation Company at Huntington Station, Long Island in 1959.
In 1963, the 42d Division's aviation units were reorganized as the 42d Aviation Battalion, based at Freeport and Zahns Airport, Long Island. The battalion was equipped with O-1A Bird Dog and U-6 Beaver fixed wing aircraft.
The 42d Aviation Battalion expanded as the United States Army began fielding helicopters, including the creation of "lettered" subordinate companies (Company A, 42d Aviation Battalion, and so on) and companies from other states. In 1968 the battalion received OH-13s and OH-23s. In 1971, Company A (Niagara Falls) and Company B (Long Island NY) received Bell H-13, UH-1 and OH-6 helicopters. These companies consisted mainly of "lift" capacity and fielded the Delta and Hotel model UH-1, but each company had "Attack" platoons which flew "Charlie" and "Mike" model gunships.
In October, 1986 another reorganization resulted in the 42d Aviation Battalion being re-designated as the Aviation Brigade, 42d Infantry Division. This reorganization included the stand-up of 1st Battalion, 142d Aviation Regiment (Attack) headquartered in Latham (1989), and 2d Battalion, 142d Aviation Regiment (Assault) in Niagara Falls (1991).
In 1995 the Army’s "Aviation Restructuring Initiative" again reorganized the Aviation Brigade. 2-142d Aviation was inactivated, moved to Rochester as the redesignated as 1-142d, and received the AH-1 ‘F’ model helicopter. 1-142d in Latham was re-flagged as the 3d Battalion, 142d Aviation Regiment (Assault), and received the UH-60 ‘Blackhawk’ helicopter.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
The Aviation Brigade headquarters deployed to Iraq as part of the 42d Division (Task Force Liberty) in May, 2004 and returned in November, 2005. Units subordinate to the Aviation Brigade in Iraq included:
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Aviation Brigade, 42d Infantry Division
- 642d Aviation Support Battalion
- 1st Battalion, 105th Aviation Regiment (General Support), NJ ARNG
- 1st Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment (General Support), CA ARNG
- 8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment (Attack), USAR
- 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.
Post Iraqi Freedom
The 2005 modular reorganization of Army combat divisions included the redesignation from "Aviation Brigade" to "Combat Aviation Brigade" (CAB). In 2006, the headquarters of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 42d Infantry Division was relocated to Latham, New York.
As part of planned force reductions following military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 42nd Infantry Division has reconfigured and redistributed subordinate units. As of 2013 the Combat Aviation Brigade has units in eleven states. Units based in New York include: Dunkirk; Jamestown; Olean; Rochester; Latham; Brooklyn; Patchogue; and Ronkonkoma.
New York Army National Guard Aviation units and individual volunteers have also continued to serve overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In 2013, the Combat Aviation Brigade deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Note: While commonly referred to as the 42d Combat Aviation Brigade, the U.S. Army Center of Military History confirms that its correct designation is Combat Aviation Brigade, 42d Infantry Division.
- "New York Military Facility Locator". New York State - Division of Military and Naval Affairs. 23 December 2016.
- Deseret News, Militia Officers May Learn to Fly, 11 October 1915
- Deseret News, New York First State to Organize Militia Aviation, 22 August 1921
- Arnold L. Punaro, editor, Commission on the National Guard and Reserves: Transforming the National Guard and Reserves, 2008, page E-5
- New York Times, Aviation Unit to Move; Police Will Shift From Staten Island to Floyd Bennett, 17 January 1947
- Steven Petibone, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, New York’s Aviation History from Bird Dogs to Blackhawks, 8 October 2009
- Steven Petibone, New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs, office of Public Affairs, Media Advisory, New Commander For Army National Guard Assault Helicopter Battalion, 5 December 2009
- Richard Goldenberg, New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Office of Public Affairs, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade History, 2011
- Schenectady Gazette, Cobra Power, 26 September 1984
- New York Division of Mililary and Naval Affairs, Office of Public Affairs, 3-142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion History, 2011
- Shomial Ahmad, Long Island Newsday, Celebrating their return home, The 42nd Aviation Brigade Members Recognized Their Return Home From Iraq With a Ceremony, Cookout, 9 July 2006
- New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Media Advisory, New Aviation Leadership Transfer of Command Between State Aviation Office and 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 11 September 2008