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Col. Sean T. Boyette - Commander, 164th ADA
Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Sachs - CSM, 164th ADA

Year in Review - 2019

The 164th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade experienced yet another high optempo year in 2019 which included two overseas deployments, one stateside mobilization, elemental rotations through the Joint Regional Training Center (JRTC) and eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC), and brigade-wide preparations for future deployments and redeployments.

In April, 3rd Battalion, 116th Field Artillery Regiment (3-116th FA) welcomed home 30 personnel from Alpha Battery following a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.

The 1st Battalion, 265th ADA’s (1-265th ADA) European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) Battery was tasked to provide Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) against Unmanned Aerial Systems, Rotary-Wing, and Fixed Wing threats throughout the European Combatant Command Theater of operations. They trained with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Vermont National Guard at JRTC in May of as part of their pre-mobilization preparations, where they provided direct support to maneuver elements and were the first air defense unit to conduct a “force on force” air defense mission at a Combined Arms Training Center since the late 1990s.

In June, staff elements of the 3-116th FA participated in the Breakthrough Exercise 2019 in Hungary with personnel from the headquarters and Alpha Battery serving as the higher control element for the Joint-Nations Fires Exercise in order to establish a working relationship with the Hungarian Army. In July, following a successful culminating training event at Ft. Bliss, Texas, nearly 300 Soldiers from 1-265th ADA conducted a battle handover of the Ground-Based Air Defense portion of the National Capital Region – Integrated Air Defense System (NCR-IADS) mission with 1st Battalion, 174th ADA Regiment from Ohio. While on station, they successfully executed their role in Exercise Capital Shield, a joint exercise that included a multitude of military organizations and civilian agencies.

The Brigade Headquarters mobilized to Ansbach, Germany in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve in order to provide mission command of U.S. Air and Missile Defense forces, increase readiness through training and exercises, oversee ADA growth, and enhance the alliance with our European allies to deter aggression. Brigade staff members attended planning conferences in Israel, Lithuania, and U.S. Army Europe Academics to synchronize planning efforts and logistics between brigade assets and host nations. Shortly after saying farewell to the EDI personnel, the unit received official notification of its 2020 mobilization as the Task Force element of the NCR-IADS mission and began their train-up in December.

The 1-265th ADA’s EDI Battery also deployed to Europe in July to begin training in austere environments and would complete multiple Field Training Exercises that stressed both equipment and personnel. The EDI battery continued their rigorous training through the remainder of 2019 and participated in other large-scale exercises such as Exercise Combined Resolve XIII.

In early September, elements from all units in the 164th were placed on State Active Duty for what began as Tropical Storm Dorian but grew into the largest Category 5 storm in history to approach Florida’s east coast.