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    Small but mighty: U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command’s lone fixed-wing unit carries a heavy load

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    Photo By Sgt. Joseph Mcdonald | Maj. Daniel Heumann, commander of E Company, 1-214th Aviation Battalion, performs...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. John Todd 

    7th Army Training Command

    WIESBADEN, Germany – One of the smallest units in the U.S. Army has an oversized role in our mission in Europe.

    Echo Company, 1-214th Aviation Battalion, is part of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and the only fixed-wing unit in the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command. They provide a critical lifeline to forward-supported areas in the theater from their home base at Wiesbaden Army Airfield located on Clay Kaserne, Germany.

    “We are the theater aviation company,” said Major Daniel Heumann, Echo Company Commander. “We fly everything from key leader engagement movements, resupply missions, to personnel rotations.”

    Echo Company flies the C-12U, which is the military equivalent of the Beechcraft King air turboprop aircraft, and the UC-35A, which is based on the Cessna Citation jet.

    “The C-12’s are much more robust in terms of ability to carry cargo,” said Heumann. “The UC-35’s are jet aircraft that transport passengers.”

    On January 14, Heumann and co-pilot Chief Warrant Officer 2 Adam Wong flew a humanitarian mission to deliver supplies to Pristina, Kosovo. The unit frequently flies this mission.

    “We support Kosovo about twice a week,” said Wong. “We've brought people that were either coming down here to replace other folks or whatever with a full light deployment kit and everything.”

    Pristina International Airport is located in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. It is the only airport in the region that supports U.S. military aviation. Currently, Kosovo and Serbia have tensions that are still ongoing, which the flight crew recognizes.

    “It feels like I'm able to contribute in a meaningful way to the larger scheme of what the U.S. Army is trying to accomplish,” said Wong.

    The unit’s efficiency can be attributed to the capabilities that a fixed-wing craft, or a traditional airplane, can offer, as opposed to a rotary wing craft, also known as a helicopter.

    “Helicopters can land a lot of places that we can’t, such as into tighter airfields,” said Heumann. “However, we have significantly more range and faster speeds.”

    In addition to the craft’s capability, the teamwork behind the scenes adds to the success of the unit’s mission.

    “It takes a tremendous amount of detail from people both in in and outside the cockpit to pull together,” said Heumann. “It’s always amazing to see that come together.”

    As this is a small military occupation specialty, there is always a need for more pilots.

    "The first physical step is going to talk to a recruiter, because that's going to be the recruits’ gateway into the Army,” said Wong. “Be decisive and not compromising.”



    Date Taken: 01.14.2021
    Date Posted: 01.30.2021 10:59
    Story ID: 387998
    Location: WIESBADEN, DE 

    Web Views: 1,136
    Downloads: 2