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Col. Grant Slayden - Commander, 164th ADA
Command Sgt. Maj. Theodore Morris - CSM, 164th ADA

Year in Review - 2016

The 164th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade consists of a headquarters in Orlando; 1st Battalion, 265th ADA Regiment in Palm Coast; 3rd Battalion, 265th ADA Regiment in Sarasota; 3rd Battalion, 116th Field Artillery (FA) Regiment in Plant City; and the 254th Transportation Battalion, a composite organization which includes three Military Police (MP) companies, in West Palm Beach.

In January, the brigade headquarters participated in Warfighter Exercise (WFX) 16-3, a corps-level exercise in Fort Carson, Colorado, that allowed the 164th ADA to practice its warfighting functions, integrate as a fully functioning staff, and achieve its training objectives of planning and executing a theater-level air defense mission. As one of only three National Guard units participating in this exercise, the 164th ADA was a key contributor to the overall success of WFX 16-3. In addition, the brigade headquarters deployed “Task Force Archangel” as the sixth command and control element from the 164th ADA to deploy for the National Capital Region - Integrated Air Defense System mission in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Task Force Archangel commanded a multicomponent task force responsible for securing the airspace in and around the National Capital Region. The deployment was extremely successful with dedicated and experienced professionals that set the conditions for all future rotations.

The 1st Battalion, 265th ADA Regiment was mobilized to Afghanistan and responsible for operating the Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar system, the first National Guard unit tasked with that mission. The battalion, known as “Task Force Iron Shield,” operated at three geographical locations: Bagram Airfield, Forward Operating Base Fenty, and Camp Dahlke in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and redeployed in March 2016.

The 3rd Battalion, 265th ADA Regiment’s road to war was abruptly cut short by nearly six months, creating challenges that would test the leadership, resilience and resourcefulness of the “Lightning Battalion.” Critical personnel changes became an opportunity to develop key leaders who would help Soldiers find strength and resilience throughout their accelerated train-up. The success of Exercise America’s Shield at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center (CBJTC) was the momentum Soldiers needed to culminate their skills at Fort Bliss, Texas, and validate 3-265th ADA as ready to assume the ground-based air defense mission in the National Capital Region. For 3rd Battalion, 116th FA Regiment, Training Year 2016 (TY16) was a successful progression in training on the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). For the first time in unit and state history, 3-116th FA fired M28 Reduced Range Practice Rockets as a platoon-sized element from multiple firing points during annual training at CBJTC. In addition to its HIMARS training, 3-116th FA focused and trained on Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) tasks in preparation for state active duty missions as Florida’s single National Guard Reaction Force.

The 254th Transportation Battalion focused on readiness, core competencies, and transformation in TY16 and supported various missions across its subordinate units. The 1218th Transportation Company participated in Operation Patriot Bandolier, driving 3,600 miles to deliver more than 1.5 million pounds of supplies from North Carolina to Oklahoma. The 690th and 715th MP Companies conducted overseas deployment training exercises in Stuttgart and Wiesbaden, Germany, respectively. Finally, the 806th MP Company began the process of transforming into a transportation company.