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    U.S. Army Pilots First Responders to Korean Helicopter Crash

    U.S. Army Pilots First Responders to Korean Helicopter Crash

    Photo By Capt. Viet Nguyen | SEOUL, Republic of Korea – Capt. Julia McKusick, Alpha Company 2-2 AHB commander...... read more read more

    CAMP HUMPHREYS, SOUTH KOREA

    12.03.2018

    Story by Capt. Viet Nguyen 

    2nd Combat Aviation Brigade

    SEOUL, Republic of Korea – A U.S. Army aircraft and its crew, assigned to 2-2 Assault
    Helicopter Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry ROK/U.S. Combined
    Division, provided initial incident response and assistance upon witnessing a Republic
    of Korea firefighting helicopter crash into the Han River, east of Seoul, on Dec. 1.

    Capt. Julia McKusick, the Alpha Company 2-2 AHB commander, and a Colleyville, Texas native, and 1st Lt. Melissa Taylor, the UH-60 pilot-in-command, and a
    Topsfield, Massachusetts native, were flying a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, on their
    way to a field training exercise around 11:30 a.m., when they observed the crash.

    “I was the pilot in command of the helicopter. When we saw what happened,
    there was no doubt in my mind we needed to do everything we could to help out that
    crashed helicopter crew,” Taylor said.

    Taylor and her team were the first to witness the crash. They remained, hovering
    overhead, and contacted the Seoul Airbase traffic control tower. They reported the
    helicopter’s tail number, which allowed incident responders to quickly identify the
    downed aircraft and its crew. The pilots also reported seeing two people emerge from
    the aircraft in the water.

    Soon after the crash, rescue boats arrived and the U.S. aircraft resumed
    movement to their destination, McKusick said.

    “There’s an assumed kinship between all aviators, regardless of whether they are
    Korean or American,” said Lt. Col. Keith Sandoval, the 2-2 AHB commander. “I feel
    fortunate Capt. McKusick and 1st Lt. Taylor were there to provide such a quick
    response and render whatever aid they could to our fellow Korean aviators.”

    Soldiers from 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade train regularly so they can be ready
    to provide critical assistance on the rare occasion of a helicopter mishap. The safety of
    Republic of Korea citizens and U.S. Army aircrews and Soldiers are top priorities for the brigade, which is why frequent, tough, and realistic training is necessary.

    “We were surprised, but we’ve trained for these types of scenarios, and we knew
    exactly what we needed to do,” McKusick said. “Our immediate concern was getting
    help to the crashed helicopter crew.”

    Also on the UH-60 Blackhawk were Sgt. Tereon Dorsey, a College Park, Georgia
    native, and Pfc. Shane Palitza, a Frisco, Texas native. Both are UH-60 Blackhawk
    helicopter repairers.

    2nd Combat Aviation Brigade is headquartered at Camp Humphreys, Republic of
    Korea and is a part of the 2nd Infantry ROK/US Combined Division. 2nd CAB’s mission
    is to provide superior air support to U.S. and ROK ground forces.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.03.2018
    Date Posted: 12.30.2018 07:51
    Story ID: 305755
    Location: CAMP HUMPHREYS, KR 
    Hometown: COLLEYVILLE, TX, US
    Hometown: TOPSFIELD, MA, US

    Web Views: 224
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    U.S. Army Pilots First Responders to Korean Helicopter Crash