The 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment traces its lineage back to its inception on 14 July 1798, as Captain James Read’s company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. For almost 200 years, the Battalion has existed in various forms, having been reorganized, re-designated, and utilized in campaigns across the continental U.S., Panama, and the Philippine Islands.

The Battalion is credited with actions in numerous conflicts, including the war of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War and World War II. On 16 October 1996, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment (PATRIOT) was reactivated at Fort Bliss, Texas. This activation made the 31st ADA Brigade, the first corps Air Defense Artillery Brigade to have two PATRIOT Battalions, equal to one-fifth of the Army’s PATRIOT forces. While at Fort Bliss, Texas, the 3-2 ADA Battalion deployed to Southwest Asia in February 1999 in support of Operation Desert Eagle and again in February 2002 in support of Operation Iraq Freedom.

The Battalion also supported the Department of Homeland Security’s counter narcotics mission in Washington state from June thru July 2005, providing radar coverage between the U.S. and Canadian border. Immediately following, the Battalion was selected to provide the security force for Operation Bright Star in Egypt from August to October 2005. In June 2008, the 3-2 ADA Battalion deployed to South Korea and immediately assumed its defensive positions at Suwon and Osan Air Bases. Upon its mission completion in South Korea and the Battalion’s return to Fort Bliss, the Battalion executed a unit change of station to Fort Sill, uncasing the Battalion colors on 16 July 2009. After a brief reset period, the 3-2 ADA Battalion began training, and assumed the contingency expeditionary force mission by 1 January 2010. In March 2010, the Battalion received its order to deploy to the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Within three months, the Battalion trained, certified, conducted rail load operations for its equipment, and in June 2010 departed personnel from Fort Sill to the CENTCOM AOR. In July 2010, the Battalion assumed the mission to deter and, if necessary, defeat air and missile attacks against defended assets in two separate countries within the CENTCOM area of responsibility; dividing the Battalion into two separate task forces. While deployed, the Battalion maintained continuous air and missile defense coverage of all critical assets, participated in numerous joint and coalition exercises, built lasting relationships with host nation security forces, volunteered thousands of hours in community outreach, and improved the survivability and living conditions of their assigned locations. On 6 July 2011, the 3-2 ADA Battalion, again uncased its colors at Fort Sill, Oklahoma to signify the end to another mission. Upon receipt of orders to deploy to Turkey to defend from Syrian Ballistic Missiles, the “Lethal Strike!” Battalion again cased colors on 2 January 2013 and deployed three Batteries to Gaziantep, Turkey.

The 3rd Battalion, 2nd ADA Regiment has always and will continue to bring the fight to its adversaries, defending the skies with Lethal Fires!!

Lt. Col. John Dawber

John Dawber is a ROTC distinguished military graduate from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas where he earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree and received an Army commission in the air defense artillery branch. Following ADA Basic Course, Dawber was assigned as a platoon leader in C Battery, 4th Battalion 43rd ADA, Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Bliss, Texas. He was later assigned to B Battery, 1-1st ADA, Fort Bliss, as the executive officer. Afterward, he attended the ADA Officer Advanced Course at Fort Bliss and the Combined Arms Services Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
He returned to Fort Bliss to serve as the brigade fire direction center officer-in-charge and assistant brigade S3 of the 11th ADA Brigade. In 1999, Dawber took a break in service. He returned to the Army one year later and took command of A Battery, 5-52nd ADA, Fort Bliss. Following battery command, he was reassigned to the 11th ADA Brigade as the deputy brigade S3 and chief of plans and served in these capacities for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dawber was selected for the office of secretary defense/joint chiefs of staff intern program and was subsequently assigned to the Pentagon. He was assigned to the joint staff J5 Political-Military Directorate, Middle East Division; where his portfolio included training and equipping of Iraq Security Forces coupled with Coalition Operations for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Subsequently, he served in the Pentagon as the system synchronization officer for the Patriot and MEADS weapon system programs. In 2006, Dawber earned his master’s in policy management from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He then attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. After completion of the Command and General Staff College, he was assigned to 5-7th ADA in Hanau and Kaiserslautern, Germany, as the operations officer (S3) and executive officer respectively. Next, he was selected to be the brigade S3 for the 357th Air and Missile Defense, Kaiserslautern, Germany. His most recent assignment was to Fort Knox, Ky. with the U.S. Army Human Resources Command officer personnel management division where he served as the lieutenant colonel assignments officer, executive officer, and interim branch chief for the ADA branch. Consequently, he was selected to serve as chief, operations branch. Dawber has been selected to command the 3-2nd ADA at Fort Sill, Okla., which is currently deployed to Gaziantep, Turkey.
Dawber has deployed in support of Joint Task Force-East, Bulgaria; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Desert Thunder, Joint Task Force-South West Asia, Kuwait; and Operation Southern Watch, Saudi Arabia.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with six OLC), Army Achievement Medal (with three OLC), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze service star, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Basic Parachute Badge, Joint Staff Identification Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge.
Dawber is married to the former Jennifer Cornell of Copperas Cove, Texas. They are very proud parents of Ethan J. Dawber.

Command Sgt. Maj. Gary E. Plotnick

Command Sgt. Maj. Gary E. Plotnick hails from the state of Pennsylvania. He completed One Station Unit Training as a 12C, bridge crewmember at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. in 1988. He transitioned to the Air Defense branch as a 14S following a 15 month break in service in 1993. He served in every leadership position from Avenger/Stinger team chief to command sergeant major. He attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and graduated from Class 63. He participated in Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

His military schooling includes all required Noncommissioned Officer Education System courses, Battle Staff course, Airborne School, Jumpmaster Course and Air Movement Operations course. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Superior Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism-Expeditionary and Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, as well as the Combat Action and Master Parachutist badges. He is a member of the Order of Saint Barbara and the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

He is married to his wife Kenya and they have two children.