Story and photo by Sgt. Keven Parry, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs
The Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, held a community day at Fort Riley’s Marshall Army Airfield Nov.16. Leaders from the communities the CAB is partnered with attended the event to learn more about the brigade.
The event allowed partnership members to interact with each other and discover the extent of the brigade’s community involvement while learning about the unit from CAB Soldiers.
“I was surprised at how many other groups were partnering with the brigade,” said Jeff Chapman, a representative from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kan.
The CAB has developed many relationships within local communities. And while some partnerships have existed for multiple years, others, such as the partnership with St. Marys, Kan. have recently been formed.
Michael Bomberger, the president of the St. Marys Chamber of Commerce and a director at the St. Marys Health Center, said, “We’re really pleased to have an opportunity to perhaps get to know each other a little better.”
Although many event attendees have been to Fort Riley and have done a lot with the CAB in the past, some only knew about the brigade from the community interactions such as Soldier participation in parades and Adopt-a-School events.
Community day provided another forum for representatives to learn about the CAB. Soldiers stood next to aircraft and equipment displays explaining the multi-functional capabilities of the brigade. For the attendees, there was much to learn and much to be gained from the community day.
“I’m learning what aircraft you guys (the CAB) have, and what exactly you do,” said Laura Robertson, a Falun, Kan. native and a representative of the Arnold Group. “It’s really nice to learn what your duty is and what you’re doing.”
“I think through today we can probably get a more direct link with the CAB,” said Whitney Lukenbill, the Manhattan Military Relations liaison.
Most of the community leaders expressed an appreciation for the Soldiers of the CAB and 1ID. Community events have allowed local communities to feel that they have an active relationship with the brigade and the units on Fort Riley.
“They’re really trying to go out and reach the whole Flint Hills region,” said Lukenbill.