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    Vermont aviation soldiers train for deployment

    Capt. David Johnston conducts interview

    Photo By Capt. J. Scott Detweiler | U.S. Army Capt. David Johnston, Executive Officer, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion,...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. J. Scott Detweiler 

    172nd Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT SILL, Okla., -- In preparation for their upcoming deployment, soldiers from the Vermont National Guard’s Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment (Air Ambulance) are conducting rigorous medical evacuation training in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.

    The Vermont soldiers have joined with members from 14 other states as part of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, set to deploy to Southwest Asia for approximately one year.

    Capt. David Johnston, executive officer, 3-126th Aviation Regiment (AA) outlined how Vermont has brought ambulatory UH-60M Black hawk helicopters with them to establish a standard medical evacuation company. Hawaii, Alabama and Connecticut have each brought additional aircraft.

    “Charlie Company has saved nearly 1500 lives during the Global War on Terrorism and today we are preparing to carry on that tradition,” said U.S. Army Maj. Corey Lewandowski, Commander, 3-126th Aviation (AA).

    “[We are working to] build camaraderie with soldiers from the different states,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Lee, crew chief with 3-126th Aviation, Vermont National Guard. “We haven’t worked with them much so now it’s just getting everyone on the same sheet of music, so that we can accomplish the mission at hand.”

    Within the aircraft each of the four crew members serves in a highly technical role that requires them to work seamlessly together to retrieve and return the patient within the so-called golden-hour.

    “You’re going to have two pilots in the front, right and left," said Lee. "Then [in the back] you’re going to have a crew chief on the right and with our mission we will have a medic in the left seat. Pilots are in charge of flying, crew chief runs the back and the medics as well: they are cross trained as a crew chief and taking care of that left side. So everyone just works together and that’s what makes this thing all happen."

    When operating in enemy territory an Air Ambulance will typically launch with an escort helicopter to provide protection. This added dynamic requires extra training on quick-starts, said Johnston.

    “This training gets us ready for the real world so when it does happen we’re ready to get the mission done and go save lives,” said Lee.



    Date Taken: 08.02.2018
    Date Posted: 08.02.2018 10:58
    Story ID: 286914
    Location: VT, US

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