12th Combat Aviation Brigade


The 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (12th CAB) prepares for full-spectrum combat aviation operations in support of the United States Army, the United States Army Europe and other designated combined joint task force headquarters. On order, 12th CAB deploys to designated contingency areas and conducts aviation combat operations as part of a designated force headquarters.

The 12th CAB Headquarters is located on Katterbach Army Airfield (KAAF) just outside the city of Ansbach.

12thCABCMDR.jpg12th CAB Commander – Col. Kenneth Cole

Col. Kenneth Cole was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1994. His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Rotary Wing Aviator Course, Aviation Advance Course, and the Command and General Staff College. He holds a Master of Military Arts and Science in Strategy from the Command and General Staff College. He served as the U.S. Army War College Senior Fellow and deputy director of the Program on Terrorism Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

His command and leadership experience includes: commander, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment (General Support), 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; commander, E Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at K2 Airbase, Korea; and commander, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He also served three times as a platoon leader in 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; 3rd Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; and 2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Additional assignments include: Deputy J-3 and planner, Aviation Tactics and Evaluation Group, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Battalion Executive Officer and S-3 at 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Battalion S-1, 3rd Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. He has deployed more than a dozen times in CENTCOM and AFRICOM.

Cole’s awards and decorations include the Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with numeral six, the Army Commendation medal with oak leaf cluster, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement medal with oak leaf cluster. He is a master Army Aviator, and a graduate of the Army Air Assault School and Airborne School.


12thCABCSM.jpg12th CAB Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Smith                    Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Smith entered the Army in Beacon, New York, attended Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and was awarded the military occupational specialty of combat medical specialist. Later, he reclassified as a utility helicopter repairer 67T. His military education includes Drill Sergeant School, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer’s Course, the Advance Noncommissioned Officer’s Course, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.

His assignments include Aviation Branch sergeant major, Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate, Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky; command sergeant major, 2nd Battalion, 210th Aviation Regiment, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; command sergeant major, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; first sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division; first sergeant, D Co., 1st Attack Reconnaissance Bn., 10th CAB; first sergeant, C Co., 3rd AR, 3rd CAB; platoon sergeant, C Co., 2nd Bn., 2nd AR (Assault), 25th ID; drill instructor, C Co., 1st Bn., 34th Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, South Carolina; squad leader, D Co., 2nd AR, 82nd CAB, 82nd AD; squad leader, B Co., 7th Bn., 159th AR, Giebelstadt, Germany; crew chief, UH-60L, C Co., 2nd AR, 82nd CAB, 82nd AD; crew chief, UH-60L, E Co., 1st Squadron, 17th CR, 82nd AD; platoon medic, A Co., 3rd Bn., 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd AD.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead, The Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Saudi Arabia Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, four NCOES Ribbons, the Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Ribbons, Bronze Service star for parachutist Badge. He has received the Master Aviation Crewman Badge, the Combat Medical Badge, the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Basic Parachutist Badge and the Drill Sergeants Badge.

Smith’s deployments include Operation Just Cause, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. Smith hails from Beacon, New York.