Change of Command



             9 June 1999 at 0900 hours, on the flight line and in the hangar at Simmons Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the soldiers of Charlie Company, 159th Aviation Regiment - "Flippers" - conducted a change of command ceremony.



          Unit History


             C Company, 159th Aviation Regiment was originally constituted on 23 September 1942 as the 2037th Quartermaster Company at Walla Walla, Washington. The unit was re-designated as the 196th Assault Support Helicopter Company (ASHC) on 4 May 1966. The company was activated as a CH-47A unit on 3 July 1966 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma under the command of Major James E. Martin who established the company's motto of "We Haul It All" and the callsign of "Flipper". After a short training period, the 196th Aviation Company deployed to Camp Lane in the Republic of South Vietnam in January 1967. Providing combat medium helicopter airlift throughout the country, the 196th ASHC received numerous awards and honors for it's multi-faceted air support and earned it's reputation as professionals. In February 1971, the 196th ASHC redeployed to the United States and was assigned a new home base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On 4 June 1987, the 218th Medium Helicopter Battalion was provisionally activated under the "Army of Excellence". Following this, on 1 September 1987, the 196th ASHC became one of two CH-47 units assigned to this new battalion. Later, in 1988, when the Army converted aviation units to the regimental designation system, the unit was re-designated as Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment. The "Flippers" deployed in support of "Operation Just Cause" (Panama) from 7 November 1989 through 11 January 1990 and again for "Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm" (Southwest Asia) from 17 September 1990 through 11 April 1991. When Hurricane Andrew struck southern Florida in September of 1992, the "Flippers" were the first to arrive in Miami and begin the rapid transport of essential supplies. For accomplishing over 300 flight hours and transporting several hundred thousand pounds of relief supplies to needy Florida residents, members of Charlie Company received the Humanitarian Service Medal. When 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment was deactivated in September 1996, the unit became A Company, 159th Aviation Regiment. Shortly thereafter, the unit was finally designated C Company, 159th Aviation Regiment, directly subordinate to the 18th Aviation Brigade (Corps) (Airborne). When Hurricane Mitch devastated several countries in Central America, the "Flippers" deployed to Honduras from 8 November 1998 through 8 February 1999. For exceptional service to the people of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, members of Charlie Company received the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal. The "Flippers" have participated in multiple major peace time training exercises, requiring unit self-deployment by air, providing medium helicopter combat service support to the ground commander. These include "Sand Eagle 92" (Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) - Louisiana), "Ocean Venture 93" (Puerto Rico), and the National Training Center (NTC) exercises at Fort Irwin, California in 1993, 1994, and 1995. The primary mission of the "Flippers" was to provide worldwide medium airlift capability in support of the 18th Airborne Corps. As of April 2002, Charlie Company, 159th Aviation Regiment was located on Simmons Army Airfield, providing airlift support to numerous Fort Bragg units.



Waiting for the new leader...

   With the spit and polish complete, the hangar and equipment, soldier and machine are ready to begin the festivities that include a formal change of command ceremony and a social gathering to say hail to the new leadership and a farewell to the old.



Charlie Company stands ready....

   Soldiers of Fort Bragg and members of Charlie Company, 159th Aviation Regiment "Flippers" stand ready to bid a fond farewell to the outgoing Commander and a gracious welcome to the new sheriff in town.



Major Peri A. Anest prepares to pass the flag...

   Major Peri A. Anest accepts the Company Guidon from the First Sergeant and prepares to pass it through the 18th Aviation Brigade Commander, Colonel Michael C. Flowers, to relinquish Command of the mighty 'Flippers' to the new Commander, Major Frances V.J. Reese.



Major Francis V.J. Reese accepts the challenge...


             Major Frances V.J. Reese willingly accepts the challenge from the Brigade Commander.

   Thus begins a new chapter in the Book of Flipper...



   Major Reese and CW3 Dave Williams, the Flippers Executive Officer (XO) enjoy a relaxing moment and pleasant conversation at the close of the official change of command ceremony.
Major Reese and the XO CW3 Dave Williams...



          The Outgoing Commander



          Major Peri A. Anest



             Major Peri A. Anest hails from Sioux City, Iowa. He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1983 and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Salisbury State University.

             Major Anest has served as Flight Platoon Leader and Executive Officer for B Company, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, S3 for the Combined Unconventional Warfare Task Force (CUWTF), and Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander, 17th Aviation Brigade in the Republic of Korea. During his first tour at Fort Bragg he served as the Company Operations Officer in A Company, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, and Assistant S3, 159th Aviation Group. During an AC/RC tour he served as Chief, Aviation Readiness Group - East, Fifth U.S. Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Upon his return to Fort Bragg, and prior to assuming command, Major Anest served as the Battalion Executive Officer for 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment (Corps) (Airborne).

             Major Anest has attended the Infantry Basic and Advanced Courses, Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course, CH-47D Aircraft Qualification Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Command and General Staff Officer Course.

             Major Anest's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Humanitarian Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Senior Aviator Badge, and the Airborne and Air Assault Badges.

             Major Anest will depart the command to serve as the Brigade S3, 18th Aviation Brigade. Today he is accompanied by his wife Deanna, his son Christopher and his daughter Katherine.



          The Incoming Commander



          Major Frances V. J. Reese



             Major Reese hails from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. She was commissioned as an Aviation Officer in 1988 and holds and Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College.

             Major Reese's first assignment was the 17th Aviation Brigade in the Republic of Korea where she served as Detachment Commander of a UH-1H VIP unit. Upon her return to the United States she completed the CH-47D transition and was assigned to C Company, 214th Aviation Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington, and held positions as a Platoon Leader, Training Officer, and Flight Operations Officer. Major Reese served with 2nd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas, as a Battalion S4 and Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander. She then served as Brigade S4 and Brigade S1 in 3rd Infantry Divisions Aviation Brigade, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia. Upon her arrival on Fort Bragg, Major Reese served as the Brigade Assistant S3.

             Major Reese attended the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course, Aviation Basic and Advanced Courses, CH-47D Aircraft Qualification Course, and the Combined Arms and Services Staff School.

             Major Reese's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal, the Aviator Badge and the Airborne Badge.

             Major Reese is accompanied by her husband, CPT Jim Reese, and their daughter, Hali McKenzie Reese.



          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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