News: SC Army National Guard aviation team visits Colombia for SPP
Story by Maj. Cindi King
BOGOTA, Colombia – Members of the S.C. Army National Guard who have supported during a natural disaster know that time and capabilities are crucial elements to a successful response.
As part of the State Partnership with the Republic of Colombia, a team of three aviation subject matter experts with the S.C. Army National Guard supported an engagement with the Colombian Army to share their skills with preparing aviation assets for life saving response activities. The team worked with UH-60 Black Hawk crews with the Colombian Army April 1-7, 2014 in Melgar and Bogota, Colombia.
“The team is helping the Colombians prepare a Black Hawk for loading onto a C-17 aircraft,” said Maj. Dave King, the State Partnership Program Director for the S.C. Army National Guard. “Some of the skills the team shared were folding the rotary blades, taking off antennae and calculating the center of gravity for loading on a cargo aircraft.”
King said this engagement was valuable for the Colombian Army, as the training will assist them further develop their disaster response capabilities with getting rotary aircraft to an area quickly. According to King, they had not previously conducted this type of training to load their Black Hawks onto a cargo aircraft.
“The Colombians were very enthusiastic about implementing these new skills,” said King. “It will be extremely valuable for them as they prepare for an upcoming readiness exercise where they will practice what they learned and load a Black Hawk on an aircraft and then unload it to prepare to fly."
The State Partnership Program between the Republic of Colombia and the state of South Carolina formally began July 2012.
The SPP between South Carolina and Colombia marked the 64th State Partnership in the program’s 20 year history. Colombia is interested in improving their humanitarian assistance and relief (HADR) with the assistance of their S.C. National Guard partners.