SEOUL — The 164th Air Traffic Services Group closed shop and reflagged itself as the 4-58th Airfield Operations Battalion on Tuesday at K-16 Air Base in Seoul.
The new structure takes the former group out of 2nd Infantry Division and attaches most of its members to the 8th U.S. Army as part of the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group, headquartered at Fort Rucker, Ala.
However, 45 soldiers will remain with 2nd ID, providing tactical support as the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, General Support Aviation Battalion’s Company F. The battalion will concentrate on managing fixed-base air traffic control centers at Camp Humphreys, K-16, the H264 heliport at Yongsan Garrison and six remote sites in South Korea.
The change is in line with the Army-wide transformation effort, 4-58th commander Lt. Col. Randy Brown said.
The reshuffling reduces some of the air traffic battalion’s resources but shouldn’t dramatically change the way it does business, Brown said.
“It’s really not a significant change since [Company F] was already providing direct tactical support to 2nd ID,” he said.
The battalion will retain some of its tactical systems, Brown said.
The redesignation is the latest of many for the air traffic unit, headquartered at Camp Humphreys.
It traces its lineage to a company formed in 1963 after an aircraft crashed into a mountain and killed all six people on board. Prior to that, each Army aviation unit ran its own traffic control.
The 164th ATS actually was created after its headquarters detachment split from the 4th Battalion, 58th Aviation regiment in 1995. The 17th Aviation Brigade inactivated in 2005 and became part of the group, which then became part of 2nd ID.
The 4-58th joins two active airfield operations battalions in Alabama and another in Germany, as well as one North Carolina National Guard unit.