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The 2-130th AOB welcomes new commander

The 2-130th AOB welcomes new commander

Story by CPT Briana McFarland on 02/04/2019

FORT BRAGG, NC The North Carolina Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 130th Aviation Regiment (2-130th Airfield Operations Battalion) hosts a change of command ceremony at the North Carolina Military Academy at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Feb. 3.

The 2-130th AOB Commander Lt. Col. Lisa Whitley, who is retiring after 24 years of service, handed over command to Lt. Col. Dave Baker, previously the operations officer of the 449th Theater Aviation Brigade.

Col. Joseph Bishop, the commander of the 449th Theater Aviation Brigade, was in attendance and provided words of encouragement for the outgoing and incoming commanders.

“Lt. Col. Whitley, we wish you the best as you move toward retirement,” said Bishop. “What an outstanding and storied career. Lt. Col. Baker remember to empower your leaders and allow them to lead. How you take care of your Soldier’s will define your legacy.”

Throughout its existence, the 2-130th AOB has responded to numerous natural disasters and overseas operations. Most recently, the AOB (-) deployed in September 2017 in support two operations, providing air traffic control in multiple locations throughout the Middle East and Whitley couldn’t be more proud.

“A significant portion of the unit has recently returned from an overseas deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield,” said Whitley. “While it was certainly difficult for myself and Sgt. Maj. [Richard] West to remain behind while Soldiers deployed, we proudly celebrate your many successes and accomplishments while overseas.”

Baker echoed Whitley’s sentiments and reminisced on their recent deployment overseas.

“I would like to thank Col. Bishop for this amazing opportunity to lead the 2-130th AOB,” said Baker. All the success we had on the 449th deployment was due to putting together one of the best teams assembled.”

Baker, who has served in the Army for 27 years, received his commission from the North Carolina Military Academy in 2000. He has held multiple leadership positions throughout multiple commands to include three deployments to Iraq. Some of his highest decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal.

An aviator by trade, Baker will embark on a new journey as the commander of a non-flying unit; however, he is ready for the job.

“Nothing is accomplished without a great team,” said Baker. “I continuously hear about the AOB and how great they are. I look forward to learning the strengths of the Soldiers under this command and watching us succeed as we lead together.”

Initially a multi-component, ten-Soldier detachment of the U.S. Army Company A, 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, the 2-130th AOB became a stand-alone National Guard unit under the name of 226th Airfield Operations Battalion. In 2006, the detachment was restructured and later became known as the 2-130th AOB, 449th Theater Aviation Brigade.

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