The official farewell ceremony for the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion heading to Fort Hood, TX and then Kuwait took place at St. Joseph’s College’s Long Island campus in Patchogue Saturday.
A private ceremony for the Long Island unit’s 175 troops and families was held at the college’s D’Ecclesiis Auditorium at 10 a.m. followed by a family picnic.
According to the college’s announcement the soldiers of the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, previously known as the 642nd Division Aviation Support Battalion, were deployed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served in Iraq as part of the 42nd Infantry Division in 2004-2005.
Company B of the battalion is stationed at the Army National Guard Flight Facility at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, and Company C is from the Army National Guard Flight Facility at Rochester International Airport in Rochester, NY as well as Dunkirk and Olean armories in western New York.
Both companies are first heading to Fort Hood for post-mobilization training before being deploying to Kuwait as part of the New York National Guard’s 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade. They will provide maintenance and logistical support to the American Army helicopter units stationed there. Troops from National Guard entities from around the country are also training at Fort Hood.
According to the announcement, nearly 600 total guests were attending the private ceremony. Soldiers from the battalion’s Company A and Company C also had farewell ceremonies at Dunkirk Armory and the Army National Guard Flight Facility in Rochester respectively on the same day.