Info from our Modern Day Lancers
B Co. 5/101 Newsletter
of the Field
of B Co. 5/101 in Iraq
13 September 2001
I figured some of you might be curious about what's going on with
the LANCERS this week in light of recent world events. Yes, we are on
alert" as they like to say on CNN. We've picked up some additional
requirements here locally, but generally, we're still planning to go to JRTC
in October. We were grounded until today. We can still only do
test flights, but hopefully that restriction will be lifted soon. We're
very moved by what happened this week. Still a lot of uncertainty as to
what the future holds for us but we're just trying to stay focused on day to
day operations. I'm proud to say we put up a History Wall last week with
all the pictures that Gary sent us. Thanks again! We also have the
Company guidon up on the wall with a large wooden patch logo as well. It
looks pretty cool. Hopefully some of you can come check it out someday.
We're still very much interested in hosting a reunion for the original
LANCERS or even possibly a 158 AVN BN reunion sometime in the next year.
How much interest do you think there is? When do you think might be a good
date? Anyway, we'll keep you posted as things develop and give you as much
information as we can. Please keep in touch.
Hello, my name is Captain
Hannibal Rock Bray and I'd like to introduce myself as the B/5-101 AVN REGT
"LANCERS" newest company commander. I took command from
Captain Dennis McKiernan on June 12, 2001. I just checked out your
website and newsletter for the first time and I am thoroughly impressed!
It's great to see so many of you guys still keep in touch.
You'll be happy to know we
celebrated a little Lancer history this past week. According to the
history records I have, the Lancers were formed on July 18, 1968, so this past
Wednesday (Jul 18th) we celebrated the Lancers 33rd Birthday. It was our
maintenance stand down week so there were no flights scheduled. That
made it easy to get the whole company together (and some family members) in
the hangar annex building for a nice potluck lunch complete with Lancer
birthday cake. We started with a brief history lesson. We are
fortunate enough to have a Desert Storm vet still among our ranks, so he
helped us recount that era. It would have been awesome to have one of
you guys there as we talked about the Vietnam era Lancers. I gave out a
few overdue awards, and we all sang happy birthday to the Lancers. All
in all, a nice little party.
Just before I took command, the
Lancers got back from a six month rotation in Bosnia in support of
OPERATION JOINT FORGE with 2-3 AVN from the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort
Stewart. Right now we're focusing on Aerial Gunnery and Aircraft
Survivability Equipment Ranges to prepare for a rotation to the Joint
Readiness Training Center in October.
About a year ago, some of our
pilots met someone out in Colorado (I'm not sure who) from the Vietnam Lancers
and he showed them the old patch. Since then, CW2 Cliff Westerman
redesigned our patch (after your original version), and it's the one that we
proudly wear today. (See attachment)
It sounds like you've got a big
reunion planned in Colorado. Do you have any plans for anything in the
Fort Campbell area? The "New" LANCERS would be honored to host
a reunion for the "Original" (notice I didn't say old!) LANCERS if
there is ever any interest. Or if there are any LANCER alumni who live
in the area, or who will be traveling through the area anytime in the future,
we'd love to have them stop by for a visit and talk to the unit.
Please feel free to give my
information to any LANCERS who might be interested in a reunion, or just
coming by the hangar for a visit with the unit. I'd be happy to set
something up, regardless of how small or large scale it might be.
Captain Hannibal R. Bray
B Company "LANCERS"
5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Fort Campbell, Kentucky 42223
(270) 956-2155; 798-4444
This update on Lancer history from Fred Harms, a modern day Lancer:
In case you didn't already know, the Lancers also participated in Desert Storm. In the
late 1960's, the 311th Escort Co.(USAR) was formed at Parks Airport in Cahokia, Illinois,
just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. In 1970, the 281st Assault Helicopter
was inactivated, then reactivated as a Reserve Unit, replacing the 311th. In 1976, the
281st AHC, and the 219th Transportation Co., moved to Scott AFB, Illinois. In 1988, the
281st was redesignated as the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment. A Co. callsign was
Ghostrider and B Co. was Lancer. The unit received UH-60 Blackhawks and was one of two
battlions so equipped. The other was at Ft. Rucker. In 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the
unit was mobilized and sent to Saudi. The Battalion was based at King Kahlid Military City
(KKMC) and it was the first Army Aviation Unit into Kuwait City. The Battalion mission was
support for echelons above corp.(EAC), which means we flew the 3rd Army Commander and his
staff personnel who were responsible for running the War. I was a Lancer and was assigned
as PIC for Gen. John Yosock, 3rd Army Commander. I also flew the CINC, Gen. Schwartzkopf.
The unit remained in Saudi until May of 1991 when it returned to Scott and stood down. In
1995 it became a victim of politics and was inactivated. I flew C Model gunships in
Vietnam with the 92nd Assault Helicopter Co. in 67/68, taught at Wolters and left active
duty in 1970. From 71 - 95 I was in the Reserves and was proud to serve with the Lancers.
We were aware of the unit history and determined to maintain the fine reputation that came
with the name. The 7-158th was the only Army Reserve Aviation Battalion mobilized for
Desert Storm, the unit flew more hours than any Army Aviation unit in the Gulf War and did
it without any accidents. Just thought you Lancer types would be happy to know that the
unit guidon picked up one more battle ribbon before it retired with pride. Fred Harms, CW4
This from Sgt Daniel Ray:
I just completed a 4 year tour with Bravo Co, 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation
Regiment (LANCERS), 101st Airborne Division. I was assigned to one of the
30 UH-60L Blackhawks with the tail number of 9226448. My old unit is
looking up history of
each of the companies in the battalion. There are 4 companies in the
battalion and they are: HHC (RAIDERS), A CO (PHEONIX), B CO (LANCERS),
and C CO (GHOSTRIDERS). 5th Battalion also has a web site if you would
like to look it up. It is www.campbell.army.mil/5101avn/index.htm
CO and B CO are the assault flight companies. C CO is the maintenance
company and of course HHC is the paper pushers. We do all sorts of
missions but our bread and butter is assaults. The battalion has
received 4 Master of Readiness awards from the Department of the Army,
in 4 straight years. The battalion is considered the best assault
battalion in army aviation and the 101st Airborne Division. I believe
that we still have a guidon in our office that says B/158th on it. I am
currently on assignment to 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th
Infanty Division, Hawaii. If you have any questions to ask me, email me
at this address or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a crewchief.
This from another of our post Vietnam Lancer brothers.
I am currently a pilot for the WIARNG. I
have recently transferred from the USAR. From 1993-1995 I had the
pleasure of being the last commander of B Co, 3/158 Avn Regt. The unit
was last located in Waukesha, WI at Crites Field. The 158 Avn Regt. was
Headquartered at NAS Glenview, IL.
We were deactivated during the cutbacks in the
mid 90s. Also with a strong political presence of the national Guard and
with Les Aspen being the Sec Def that did not help our cause.
Placing all political feeling aside I would
like to let you know that as a Commander of B Co. it was gravy duty. The
personnel were the best in my 20 year career as a soldier and Officer.
When we closed the doors our Average OR rate was above 85%. The NVD
currency rate averaged 92% +. We were the BN night fighters. I can
not say enough about the pilots and crews of the unit.
The normal weekend drill period are Sat/Sun 0730-1630. At
B Co it was expected and well known that our drills were Fri 1800 through Sun
at 14-1500 give or take. We left for Ft McCoy each weekend and trained
I don't know what the unit was like in RVN but if you could
have been a part of it in WI you would be proud of the results. A man
once said, "If it don't buck it aint much of a ride", well I have to
say I had one heck of a ride.
Dave thanks for your time and what you and the rest of the
soldiers did in RVN and to help preserve freedom for me and my children.