News: Atlas troops train with Air Force to recover aircraft
Story by Staff Sgt. April Campbell
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade troops hosted joint Downed Aircraft Recovery Team and Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery training with airmen from Pope Army Airfield at Simmons Army Airfield, Feb. 24.
DART and CDDAR teams are responsible for recovering aircraft after they crash or become disabled and can no longer fly.
“Training with the Air Force allows us to see the equipment and techniques they use and vice versa,” said Sgt. Zachory McMahon, of the 122nd Aviation Support Battalion.
Soldiers from 122nd ASB and 1-82 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, and airmen from 440th Maintenance Group and 2nd Airlift Squadron, 43rd Airlift Wing, practiced using the Unit Maintenance Aerial Recovery Kit on an AH-64 Apache helicopter.
“This kit is a set of ropes and slings that is used to rig a downed helicopter for recovery,” said 1st Lt. Mike Van Oteghem, 122nd ASB DART platoon leader. “The UMARK can be used with a crane to load a damaged helicopter onto a flatbed truck and it can also be used to rig and aircraft to be slung underneath another helicopter for recovery.”
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dax Rankin, of the 2nd AS, had never worked with an Apache helicopter.
“Joint training expands our range of knowledge and enables us to help soldiers if they ever need extra manpower for this type of operation,” Rankin said.
While the training focused on using the UMARK on the AH-64, the kit is compatible with all types of helicopters used in the Army.
Learning about the technology of their sister services is not a new endeavor for these service members.
“The 122nd ASB DART and the 440th CDDAR team have worked together in the past to the benefit of both units,” Van Oteghem said. “We continue to support each other through joint training events such as this in order to achieve and maintain the highest level of readiness and to foster a cooperative spirit among the soldiers and airmen.”