U.S. ARMY 66TH THEATER AVIATION COMMAND UNIT PATCH

The 66th Theater Aviation Command’s unit patch is identical to its Combat Service Identification Badge, save that it is in monochrome, while the CSIB is in full color. Its two majorly defining features are the Peregrine falcon swooping downward to attack and the falling bolt of lightning. Both of these are important in showing the mission statement of the 66th: To strike and eliminate the enemies of the U.S. from above, whether they are soldiers or natural disaster. But these two images also have historical and personal meaning for the 66th, which was originally an Aviation Brigade.

In heraldry, the falcon symbolizes one who does not rest until victory is achieved; the lightning bolt symbolizes swiftness and power. Both of these traits, persistence and swiftness in action, can be seen in both the 66th’s motto and in its actions. Its commitment to completing its missions has been tested and proven for more than twenty years, as it has taken part in battling wildfires that are especially frequent in the summer months in the Northwestern United States. As a National Guard unit, it is proud of its ties to the area where it is stationed, an affinity that is on display in its Unit Crest featuring Mount Saint-Helens and Mount Rainier. While it is impossible to say how many lives have been saved through the work of the 66th Theater Aviation Command, there is no question the wildfires would have claimed not only more acreage but also more lives if not for the unit’s focus on successfully completing its missions with "Speed, Courage, Power."
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