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The 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment conducts general support aviation operations and provides administrative support for the Headquarters, Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), Fort Polk and the United States Army Garrison, in order to train Soldiers, grow leaders, and support the validation of units as they prepare to deploy, fight, and win our nation's wars.

  • UH-72 Aircraft

    UH-72 Aircraft














Constituted 20 July 1940 as the 5th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, assigned to the 5th Division.  Activated 10 August 1940 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

Activated 10 August 1940 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

Reorganized and re-designated 1 October 1943 as the 5th Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized.

Reorganized and re-designated 4 March 1946 as the 5th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop.

Inactivated 20 September 1946 at Camp Campbell, Kentucky.

Re-designated 6 July 1948 as the 5th Reconnaissance Company and activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Activated 1 March 1951 at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation , Pennsylvania.

Inactivated 1 September 1953 at Indiantown Gap Military  Reservation, Pennsylvania.

Activated 25 May 1954 in Germany.

Inactivated 1 June 1957 at Fort Ord, California.

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Converted and re-designated 26 January 1962 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th Aviation Battalion.

Battalion activated 19 February 1962 at Fort Carson, Colorado (HHC, 5th Aviation Battalion, reorganized and re-designated 12 February 1964 as HHD, 5th Aviation Battalion; Company A inactivated 25 April 1966 in Vietnam).

Battalion (less Company A) inactivated 24 June 1967 at Fort Carson, Colorado HHD, 5th Aviation Battalion, re-designated 21 July 1975 as the Aviation Company, 5th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

5th Aviation Battalion (Provisional) activated December 1977 at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Reorganized and re-designated 1 September 1982 as HHC, 5th Aviation Battalion.

Relieved 16 November 1987 from assignment to the 5th Infantry Division; concurrently reorganized and re-designated as the 5th Aviation, a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System, with Headquarters at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

5th Aviation Battalion was activated on 1 October 2017 at Fort Polk, Louisiana and designated as Aviation Battalion, JRTC and Fort Polk.


LTC Joseph D. Swinney, Battalion Commander

Lieutenant Colonel JD Swinney enlisted in the Indiana National Guard as an Infantryman while attending Purdue University. He graduated from Purdue in 2003 with a degree in History, and was commissioned into the Aviation Branch. After Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training and Aviation Officer Basic Course, JD was assigned to Palehorse Troop 4/2 ACR at JRTC and Fort Polk. He served as an Aero Scout Platoon Leader and accompanied 4/2 during its reflagging to 4-6 ACS and re-stationing to Joint Base Lewis McCord. While there, JD deployed to Iraq with 4/2 SBCT as their Brigade Aviation Officer.

JD was next assigned to 1-6 Air Cavalry Squadron, 1ID CAB, at Fort Riley, Kansas. While there he commanded F/1-6 (UAS) and A/1-6 from 2008 – 2011. Including commanding both Troops during OIF 10-11. After Troop Command JD attended Kansas State University, earning and Masters of Technology (Aviation Science) and multiple Fixed-Wing Aviation ratings and certifications before attending the Command and General Staff Officer Course at Fort Leavenworth.

Following CGSOC, JD was assigned to Fort Campbell, KY. At Fort Campbell he served as the 5th Special Forces Group Aviation Officer and the Group Training Officer. JD then served as the Executive Officer and Operations Officer for 5-101 Aviation, deploying to Afghanistan in 2015.

In 2016 JD was selected for the Advanced Strategic Planning and Policy Fellowship and attended Duke University from 2016 to 2019 – earning a Ph.D. in History. JD’s research focused on the changes in the U.S. Army’s service culture following the Vietnam War. Most recently, JD served on the Commanding General of Army Futures Command’s Initiatives Group.

Lieutenant Colonel Swinney’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), and the Army Commendation Medal. He has earned the Senior Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Parachutist Badge.

JD is married to the former Elizabeth Wells – a native of Pineville, LA. They have two daughters, Mili (7) and Cora (4).

CSM Caleb T. Baugh, Battalion Command Sergeant Major

Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Caleb T. Baugh entered the United States Army in July of 1998 and graduated as a Field Artillery Surveyor (82C) from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  Three years later, he re-classed to be a (15U) CH-47 Chinook Medium Helicopter (CH-47 Chinook) Repairman, completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Ft. Eustis, Virginia. 

CSM Baugh has served as a CH-47 Crew Chief, Flight Engineer, Standardization Instructor, Flight Platoon Sergeant, SERE Instructor (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), DES (Directorate of Evaluations and Standardization) Senior Aviation Standardization NCOIC and First Sergeant.  CSM Baugh has served with 2-52 Aviation Regiment at Camp Humphreys, South Korea; 2-159th Aviation Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; 3-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; 1st Aviation Brigade at Ft. Rucker, Alabama; 1-214th General Support Aviation Battalion at Wiesbaden, Germany; and currently stationed at Ft. Polk, Louisiana as the 1-5 Aviation Regiment Command Sergeant Major. CSM Baugh has deployed multiple times to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

CSM Baugh’s awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medals (2 OLC), the Air Medal (3rd award), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), the Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award), the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (4BSS), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (5th Award),  the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), the NATO Medal, the Master Aviation Badge, and the Army Parachutist Badge.

CSM Baugh’s military education includes all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System culminating with his graduation from Class 69 of the Sergeants Major Academy, Special Operations Training Course, MH-47 Nonrated Crewmember Flight Instructor Course, Joint Fire Power Course, SERE C High Risk Course, SERE Joint Resistance Training Instructor Course, SERE Joint Advanced Train the Trainer Course, SERE Joint Urban Evasion Course, Joint Personnel Recovery Reintegration Course, Joint Personnel Recovery Debriefing Course, Combat Life Savers Course, Unit Armorer Course, Equal Opportunity leader Course, and Airborne School.

Unit Footprint/Location


  From Leesville Area
  •  Travel south via US-171 S. Take a left onto Entrance Rd to FT Polk main gate. Continue straight on Entrance Road. Once you pass the Smoothie King, turn left onto Texas Avenue. Make a right on Pennsylvania Road. Turn right onto California Avenue, and continue straight until you reach the Hangars on the right hand side.    
  • Polk Army Airfield

    Polk Army Airfield

  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company

    Headquarters and Headquarters Company

  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company

    Headquarters and Headquarters Company

  • Alpha Company

    Alpha Company

  • Alpha Company Hangar

    Alpha Company Hangar

  • Bravo Company

    Bravo Company

  • Bravo Company Hangar

    Bravo Company Hangar

  • Bravo Company Hangar

    Bravo Company Hangar

  • Charlie Company

    Charlie Company

  • Charlie Company Hangar

    Charlie Company Hangar

  • Charlie Company Hangar

    Charlie Company Hangar

  • Charlie Company Hangar

    Charlie Company Hangar

Incoming Personnel

Incoming Single Soldiers will live in the barracks located on 12th Street in Building 1635.

The Geronimo Warrior Restaurant is about a 8 minute walk and is located next to the MEB Fitness Gym.

Slideshow below is a representation of the barracks and its common areas.

  • 1-5 Aviation Barrack Bldg

    1-5 Aviation Barrack Bldg

  • Day Room

    Day Room

  • Laundry Room

    Laundry Room

  • Barracks Room

    Barracks Room

  • Personal Kitchen Area

    Personal Kitchen Area

  • Personal Living Area

    Personal Living Area

Welcome Packet

Headquarters and Headquarters Company “Hawks”

Alpha Company “Tomahawks”