SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
The 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony June 16, 2014 at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. U. S. Army Lt. Col. Shane Mendenhall assumed command from U. S. Army Lt. Col. E. J. Irvin, II with U. S. Army Col. Thomas Boccardi, Joint Task Force-Bravo commander, presiding.
"On the first interaction when I came here on the pre-deployment site survey to look at this fine unit, I had the opportunity to see professionalism at its best in the United States Army," said Mendenhall. "As I came down here to get ready to take command, I was amazed at how much you had done and your accomplishments which had not only brought trust to the 228th but to Joint Task Force-Bravo as well. I stand humble being in command today."
During his speech, Mendenhall told Boccardi that he stands ready to continue building the partnership between JTF-Bravo, Honduras and the other Central American nations.
"As we embark on this adventure as a team of teams, I know that we will continue to create success in Central America with our partners and build the unity that is expected."
Mendenhall gave his speech in front of more than 100 Joint Task Force-Bravo Airmen and Soldiers, which included other commanders from the Army Support Activity, Medical Element, Army Forces Battalion, Joint Security Forces, 612th Air Base Squadron and representatives from the Honduras armed forces.
Mendenhall understands that for the 1-228th to succeed, he needs the continued support of his leadership and soldiers to complete the mission.
"I'm grateful for your hard work and for your attendance to those small things that continue to make us look great and continue to strive for excellence."
Mendenhall is a graduate of Utah State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree in 1996. He received a Master of Public Administration from the resident Intermediate Level Education center Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The 1-228th Aviation Regiment, under U. S. Army South, has directly supported the U. S. Southern Command's engagement and security cooperation strategy. This one-of-a-kind battalion provides heavy lift, medical evacuation, general aviation and VIP support spanning the area of responsibility in support of Joint Task Force-Bravo. The regiment has actively participated in counter narcotics missions and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief support throughout Central America.