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Army Lt. Col. Scott P. Kubica makes remarks at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, where he assumed command Friday of 2nd Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment.

Army Lt. Col. Scott P. Kubica makes remarks at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, where he assumed command Friday of 2nd Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment. (U.S. Army photo)

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — An Army Chinook helicopter unit in South Korea that will soon become part of a new type of aviation brigade bade a warm farewell to its departing commander Friday and welcomed his replacement during a ceremony at Camp Humphreys.

Amid the rousing strains of the 8th Army Band and the bellowing of drill commands, Lt. Col. Scott P. Kubica assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, known as the “Nightmare Battalion.” The unit flies the heavy-lift CH-47 Chinook.

Kubica replaced Lt. Col. Richard A. Juergens Jr., who had led the battalion since June 2003 and is headed to the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Nightmare Battalion, part of the 17th Aviation Brigade, will become part of the Multi Functional Aviation Brigade, which will be formally established June 16. The Nightmare soldiers will become the MFAB’s General Support Aviation Battalion, or GSAB. The new brigade will also include AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters.

The Army is converting the bulk of its tactical aviation forces to the MFAB organizational model, though the brigades will not include Army aircraft assigned to special operations duties, Army officials have said.

“In front of you today, you see the first formation of the 2-52 GSAB,” 17th Aviation Brigade commander Col. David J. Abramowitz said from the podium, while ranged across the flight line stood the battalion’s seven companies.

The GSAB, Abramowitz told the audience, will consist of eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for command-and-control missions; 12 CH-47 Chinook’s for heavy-lift tasks; 12 Black Hawks designed for medical evacuation; five C-12 Huron fixed-wing cargo planes; a forward support company; aviation support company; and headquarters and headquarters company — “seven companies in all,” he said.

Abramowitz reserved warm praise for Juergens, his wife and seven daughters, calling the officer “the finest leader and battalion commander I have ever worked with. There is no comparison.”

Juergens told the battalion’s troops it had been his “privilege” to lead them.

Addressing Kubica, Abramowitz said, “Scott, you are ready. Your outgoing personality will keep this unit strong. You have some busy months ahead of you, but I know you are the right commander to carry this unit forward.”

In brief remarks, Kubica told the troops he looked “forward to working with and taking care of each and every one of you.”

Kubica’s previous assignment was as aviation and G7 plans officer for NATO Component Command — Land Madrid, in Spain. He was commissioned in the field artillery branch after graduating in 1986 from Officer Candidate School. He graduated flight school in 1992.

He holds a master’s degree in management from Webster University in St. Louis. He has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has been awarded the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, among other decorations.

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