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Col. Vincent H. Torza assumed command Friday of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, which during the past two years has supported contingency operations ranging from Afghanistan to Kosovo.

Torza replaced Col. Jay Voorhees, who has led the Ansbach, Germany-based unit since 2011.

Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, deputy commander of U.S. Army Europe, presided over Friday’s ceremony at Katterbach Army Airfield.

The 12th CAB, which flies Apache, Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters for support, reconnaissance and assault missions, lost two soldiers during its 2012 deployment to Afghanistan.

A native of Hartford Conn., Torza has previous experience inside the Ansbach military community, where he served with the 6-6th Cavalry in Illesheim from 1997 to 1999 and then from 2008-2011 as the commander of 2-159th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion in Illesheim.

In addition to its deployment to Afghanistan, soldiers with the 12th CAB also supported the KFOR mission in Kosovo and provided humanitarian assistance in Montenegro during the past two years. Currently, one of the unit’s battalions is now in the midst of preparations for a deployment to Kuwait early next year.

Vandiver.john@stripes.com

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