Living Memorial For Richard “Rick” Adams

Rick-Adams-LargeBy Colonel Rick Adams – Interesting story on the flight gloves which are in the TX Military Forces Museum, Camp Mabry: I wore these flight gloves in Iraq during the surge when my call sign was “Attack 6” commander of 1-149th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion during combat operations. Due to the inherent danger in the nature of their business (especially in combat) pilots tend to adopt idiosyncrasies, special ways of doing things, patterns – call it superstition. I felt like these gloves had been through a lot and wanted to make them survive the entire 1 year deployment. So, through 106 combat missions, 375 flight hours I nursed the gloves.



I feel fortunate to have served during Desert Shield/Storm (Saudi Arabia/Iraq), SFOR (Balkans), Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Kuwait, UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Afghanistan, multiple Navy ships in Persian Gulf). It was a unique honor to command in combat zones at the company, battalion and brigade level. But…perhaps the most challenging tour of duty was stay-home-dad while my wife LTC Kris Shelstad deployed to Iraq with 36th Infantry Division. The youngest son was a high school freshman / sophomore during her deployment.Juggling work, sports, groceries, laundry, homework etc. was challenging – especially having no staff.


H1 H2 H3


These pictures were from 29 September, 2006 during a 6 hour, armed escort mission. 1-149th began flying these missions after the shoot-down of “Easy 40” 20 Jan, east of Baghdad. The Apache helicopters would escort random flights of UH-60 Blackhawks as they circumnavigated the skies of Iraq moving soldiers, governmental officials and civilians. The random nature of the escorts caused the enemy to always wonder if a couple of the world’s best attack helicopters lurked behind the Blackhawks waiting for someone on the ground to misbehave.


Simmons-SmallMG Simmons (Deputy Commanding General III CORPS) pinning on CW5 Duke Russell’s Bronze Star Medal in front of one of the Apaches that they flew together back in Korea in the mid 90’s when then COL Simmons was the Aviation Brigade commander there and Duke took a tour to Korea to help with some pilot shortages. Duke was also an Army Aviator in Viet Nam, and he served with us in the Balkans during SFOR 13 and 14 2003-2004.





My Executive Officer and me as we took a shift in the guard tower to give the enlisted guys a break on Thanksgiving.



And on picture of me pinning on the only Purple Heart of our tour – a good thing only having one during the year of combat. They got hit by shrapnel over Ramadi.


Credentials of the 1-149th ARB in Iraq

Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Adams
Command Sergeant Major, Lorenzo Rodriguez

The 1-149th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) deployed to combat as the lead battalion of  the Army National Guard’s first transformed and  mobilized combat aviation brigade (36th CAB).  The key leaders were mobilized during January  2006 and company units were phase mobilized  during February 2006. The battalion was  deployed to LSA Anaconda, Iraq in August 2006 in  support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. Being  the ARB for the corps’ combat aviation brigade,  the 1-149th ARB was tasked to support the areas  of concern throughout the region. During July  2007, the 1-149th ARB transferred authority to 2- 159th ARB and redeployed to the United States.

Demographics: This AH-64A Apache battalion was a blend of National Guard and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)  soldiers from 25 states who formed the battalion, completed transformation, trained at Ft Hood for 6 months and deployed to Iraq for 1 year.

Combat Flight hours: 18,400+ (60% day / 40% night) As a metric, prior to this rotation, the most hours this battalion ever flew, in one year, was 3,200 during back-to-back SFOR rotations in Bosnia.

Combat Missions: Over 2,400 combat missions throughout Iraq with operational focus in Ramadi, Dyalah Province,Baghdad, Basrah, Diwaniyah, Tallil, Nasiriyah and Mosul.

Direct Support: 744, Air Assault security: 78, Armed Escort: 187, Local/Remote support Counter Mortar Manpad Rocket Interdiction (CM2RI): 505, Convoy Security: 248, OCF-I: 112, Reconnaissance & Surveillance (R&S): 165, VIP Escort: 254

Engagements: Over 120 recorded Engagements *excluding Other than Conventional Forces-Iraq (OCF-I). 41,000 rounds of 30mm, 450 rockets, 45 Hellfire Missiles

Aviation Maintenance:

20 of 24 – AH-64A’s available daily (86% Mission Capable rate)
35 – Phases (11 aircraft phased twice)
30 – 250 hr inspections
75 – 125 hr inspections

*Returned 18 battle-damaged aircraft to the fight (3 of them damaged heavily & took over 30 days to repair) Modification Work Orders (MWOs): Counter Missile Warning System (CMWS) and (I4S), IZLID lasers, M4 mounts, Blue Force Tracker (BFT), High Frequency (HF) radios, Robbie (auxiliary)Tanks, dual VHF radios, 701D engines, Electronic Data Maps (EDM).

Ground Maintenance: 96% Mission Capable (MC) average. Completed 180 services.

Attack Forward Arm & Refuel Point (FARP) pumped over 1
million gallons of fuel at Anaconda & deployed to Forward
Operating Bases (FOBs) twice.


Distinguished Flying Cross – 10
Purple Heart – 1
Air Medal for Valor – 39
Bronze Star Medal – 53
Air Medal – 154
Combat Action Badge – 104
Army Commendation Medal – 241
Army Achievement Medal – 210
Civilian – 1

Various other awards totaling 1,211 awards processed in Iraq. 117 reenlistments of 130 eligible National Guard Soldiers