2-501st AVN "Desert Knights"

2-501st AVN "Desert Knights" This is the Official Page of the 2-501st Avn Regiment. Commander: LTC Richard M. Zygadlo [email protected]
Command Sergeant Major: CSM John A.

Email: [email protected]

24 hr Brigade Staff Duty: (915) 744-2874

2-501st GSAB Chaplain

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email -

Family Readiness Support Assistant is located on second floor of Building 11250 SSG Sims in Room 2123. (915) 744-8557

Operating as usual


11250 SSG Sims St
El Paso, TX

General information

The 501st Aviation Battalion was constituted 15 February 1957 in the Regular Army as the 501st Aviation Company. Initially assigned to the 1st Armored Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana, the unit was reorganized and re-designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 501st Aviation Battalion on 3 February 1962. The Battalion's A company was assigned to the U.S. Army Pacific in 1964 and later deployed to Vietnam where they earned the Presidential Unit Citation in 1966. The Battalion was inactivated on 24 June 1967 and reactivated in Germany on 21 August 1972. After serving in Germany for fifteen years, the Battalion was deactivated on 16 November 1987 and relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division. The Battalion's A and B Companies were then activated in Korea as 1st and 2nd Battalions, 501st Aviation Regiment, and subsequently deactivated on 15 January 1996. On 21 February 1997, 1st and 2nd Battalions were reactivated in Germany under the 1st Armored Division. In December 1999, 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment was notified that it would form the nucleus of an aviation task force to deploy to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian. Task Force 2-501 was formed in January 2000 from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-501st Aviation Regiment, Alpha Company, 1-501st Aviation Regiment, D Troop, 1-1 Cavalry Regiment, Alpha Company, 2-501st Aviation Regiment and elements from the Aviation Unit Maintenance Company from 2-501st Aviation Regiment, 1-501st Aviation Regiment, and 1-1 Cavalry Regiment. The Task Force immediately began training for peacekeeping operations. After months of training at Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, and Fort Rucker, Task Force 2-501 deployed to Kosovo in June 2000. Task Force 2-501 flew over 10,000 flight hours while successfully accomplishing a multitude of tasks ranging from aerial reconnaissance, troop insertions, MEDEVAC, and QRF while simultaneously supporting a steady stream of VIP's. In April 2003, 2nd Battalion deployed along with the entire 1st Armored Division to Baghdad Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion conducted operations from Baghdad International Airport for 12 months . In April 2004, the Division's deployment was extended in Iraq to quell a mounting insurgency. As a result, 2nd Battalion redeployed from Kuwait and supported offensive operations in central and southern Iraq. The Battalion returned home in July 2004 after 15 months in the desert. They were then deactivated on 7 July 2005. The battalion reactivated at Fort Bliss, Texas on 15 September 2011 under 1ST Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade. The unit deployed as a composite aviation task force to Regional Command – North, Afghanistan in February 2013. In October of 2014, the unit deployed as TF Iron Knights to Liberia to fight and contain the Ebola outbreak. Serving as the only aviation unit in the region, 2-501st's deployment marked the 1st time that 1AD returned to Africa since WWII. The most visible element of USAID's JTF-101, the Iron Knights finished the mission 6 months ahead of the predicted timeline and returned home in March of 2015.


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