Lt. Col. Steven R. Todd bid farewell to the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion Soldiers as they welcomed the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Jeffery R. Baird, during an official ceremony at Joint –Base Berry Field Army Aviation Support Facility Number 1, Sep. 12.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition that formally symbolizes authority’s continuity as the command is passed from one individual to another. The change of command is a transfer of total responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.
“It’s very tough for me personally,” said Lt. Col. Todd, “I’ve been in this organization [aviation] for over 20 years, and I know the chances of me coming back are slim to none, so it’s difficult to walk away from these people. Flying helicopters is a lot of fun.”
Lt. Col. Todd is a Senior Army Aviator rated in the UH-1 Iroquois, UH-60A/L Blackhawk, and OH-58D Kiowa helicopters. He assumed command of the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion on June 3, 2018, and deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo.
Although Lt. Col. Todd took command on the tail end of the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Initiative, he was able to keep the Soldiers engaged and focused on the mission as they continued to transition from a Scout Reconnaissance Helicopter Battalion to an Assault Helicopter Battalion.
Lt. Col. Baird stated that setting the conditions where Tennessee Aviation is prepared to receive and continue to grow in greatness as the Army undergoes significant modernization changes over the next several years is the impact he wants to make as he takes command.
Lt. Col. Baird served as the ARNG Aviation Systems Branch Chief at National Guard Bureau since 2018, with oversight of Army National Guard Aviation modernization and aircraft fleet management for the 54 States, territories, and District of Colombia. Baird is a Senior Army Aviator rated in the OH-58 A/C, UH-60A/L Blackhawk, C-12 and UC-35.
“It’s an honor, and it’s very humbling to be able to take command of a prestigious unit like this, ” said Lt. Col. Baird. “I look forward to giving them all I’ve got and serve the best I can.”
Distinguished guests in attendance included Tennessee’s Deputy Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Tommy A. Baker and Land Component Commander, Brig. Gen. Jimmie L. Cole.
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