Ravell Call, Deseret News
Approximately 20 soldiers of the Utah Army National Guards Detachment 2, Charlie Company, 1-171st Aviation, depart from West Jordan on the first leg of their 12-month deployment to Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

WEST JORDAN — The Utah National Guard’s 97th Aviation Troop Command will change command Saturday as Col. Lamar Blair relinquishes command to Col. Gordon D. Behunin.

Behunin will assume command of approximately 800 soldiers assigned to units in West Jordan and Salt Lake City.

The unit includes the 1-211th Attack Helicopter Reconnaissance Battalion; 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion; Detachment 50, Operational Support Airlift; Detachment 1-112th; and Detachments 5-159th and 1-171st Medevac .

During Blair’s tenure as commander, the many accomplishments of the 97th include the successful overseas deployments of the 1-211th, 2-211th, 2-285th Air Assault Company and Detachment 50, as well as the unit’s yearly support to state authorities in response to wildfires throughout Utah.

Behunin, of South Jordan, enlisted in the Utah Army National Guard as an artilleryman in 1984. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving with the 1-211th during its deployment to Afghanistan in 2004-05.

During his career, Behunin has served as battalion commander, operations officer, and comptroller-financial manager. He is qualified to pilot AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. He works full time as the administrative officer for the aviation command in West Jordan.