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    Rochester Army National Guard Aviators return home after eight months of Afghan flying

    RochesterArmy Guard aviators operate in Afghanistan

    Courtesy Photo | Soldiers of the New York Army National Guards Company B, 3rd Battalion, 126th General...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    ROCHESTER--During an eight-month deployment in Afghanistan which ended in October, 20 New York Army National Guard aviators and pilots from Company B, 3rd Battalion 126th aviation flew over 6,000 personnel and one million pounds of critical cargo.

    Eighteen of the 20 Soldiers received the Air Medal with C for combat. The other two Soldiers were awarded the Bronze Star.

    The company operates the CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopter and half the company is based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Rochester International Airport.

    The CH-47F is invaluable in Afghanistan because of its lifting ability and because it can operate at higher altitudes than other helicopters.
    The other half is part of the Maryland Army National Guard based in Edgewood, Maryland.

    The Soldiers arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas for out processing on Nov. 2 and returned to New York on Nov. 8.

    The Soldiers conducted battlefield circulation, aerial resupply and tactical insertion missions. They also conducted air assaults and extracted personnel and equipment when required.

    The unit operated in seven Afghan provinces—Nangarhar, Kabul, Logar, Paktiya, Khost, Sarobi, Laghman and Parwan—in eastern Afghanistan.
    These missions directly supported both conventional forces and Special Forces of the United States military and Afghanistan in action against the Taliban and the Islamic State.

    This was the third Afghan deployment for the Rochester based detachment of B Company.

    The unit deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. For their performance on that deployment the company was recognized as the Army National Guard aviation unit of the year for 2008 by the Army Aviation Association of America (known as Quad A).

    Among those achievements was participating in the largest Air Assault operation in that country since 2002.

    In 2009 the detachment's pilots and other Soldiers trained Canadian Forces pilots to operate the CH-47 because all of that country's CH-47s were already deployed to Afghanistan. The detachment also sent Soldiers and helicopters to assist in the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    In June 2011 a helicopter assigned to the company plucked a motorboat stuck in the Niagara Falls rapids from the lip of the falls before it could go over.

    In August and September 2011 CH-47s assigned to the detachment were used to move Federal Emergency Management Agency supplies during the National Guard's response to Tropical Storm Irene.

    Following Superstorm Sandy in November 2012 the Soldiers of Company B once again used their CH-47 helicopters to move critically needed supplies from other locations to New York City during the New York National Guard response to the storm

    In 2012 and 2013 the Soldiers deployed once again to Afghanistan to move troops and supplies across the country.



    Date Taken: 11.08.2017
    Date Posted: 11.08.2017 15:41
    Story ID: 254675
    Location: ROCHESTER, NY, US 

    Web Views: 929
    Downloads: 0