As of 16 october 2009 Headquarters and Headquarters Company Task Force 49 is re designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and activated at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
The formation of the 16th Combat Aviation Group added a major subordinate command to I Corps which was headquartered near the DMZ. The 71st, 174th, and 176th Assault Helicopter Companies and the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company of the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion provided direct aviation assault capabilities to ground forces of the 101st Airborne Division and the United States Marine Corps. The role of the 212th Combat Support Battalion was to provide reconnaissance and surveillance assets along the North-South Vietnamese border in I Corp's area of responsibility. At the time of the 16th Combat Aviation Group's activation, the battalion was comprised of the 21st and 220th Reconnaissance Companies, the 131st and 245th Surveillance Companies, and the 282nd Assault Helicopter Company.
Provisionally established in October 2005 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska Task Force 49 originally oversaw 4-123d Aviation Battalion, 1-52d Aviation Battalion, 68th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), and C-123d Aviation Maintenance Company. In February 2006, Task Force 49 was formally established, 4-123d Aviation Battalion was inactivated and 1-52d Aviation Battalion reorganized into a General Support Aviation Battalion. 6-17th Cavalry Squadron was relocated from Fort Shafter, Hawaii to Fort Wainwright, Alaska in June 2006.
Task Force 49 was comprised of Headquarters and Headquarters Company Task Force 49, 1-52d Aviation Battalion, 6-17th Cavalry Regiment, D-123d Assault Company (UH-60), C-123d Aviation SUPPORT Company (ASC), and elements from the 209th Aviation Support Battalion 25th Infantry Division (Light), Hawaii.
The first unit to deploy from Task Force 49 was the CH-47 based Task Force Dragon, composed primarily of B/1-52 Aviation. Task Force Dragon supported two marine aircraft wings in Alanbar, Iraq from July 2007 to August 2008.
In November 2007, HHC, Task Force 49, deployed, and assumed command of the Multi-National Corps Iraq Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In July 2008, HHC Task Force 49 assumed command of the Multi-National Division-Center Aviation Brigade at Baghdad International Airport Iraq. In December 2008, HHC Task Force 49 returned to Fort Wainwright, having completed a 13 month tour.
As of february 2010, the Brigade will mark the end of 36 months of continual combat deployment by a single aviation unit, a feat unmatched in modern army aviation.
The mission of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade is to provide aviation forces to support Army Force Generation. On order, deploy worldwide to find, fix, and destroy enemy forces and sustain combat power in support of join military operations to increase the lethality and agility of the ground force.