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    400 NY Army Guard aviation Soldiers mobilize for Middle East Mission

    642nd Aviation Support Battalion night sling load

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Harley Jelis | Sgt. 1st Class Joann Duclose, a senior human resources sergeant from the 642nd...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    ROCHESTER, NEW YORK-- Four hundred New York Army National Guard Soldiers from Rochester, Dunkirk, and Long Island will leave for a deployment to Kuwait on Jan. 23.

    The Soldiers will train in Pennsylvania and Texas before heading to the Middle East for ten months.

    Three hundred and fifty Soldiers are assigned to the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion who are trained to provide logistics and maintenance support to the helicopter units of an Army combat aviation brigade.

    Forty-five Soldiers are members of Detachment 1, Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th General Support Aviation Battalion, which his based in Rochester and fly CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters.

    The 642nd Aviation has elements located in Rochester and Dunkirk in western New York, and in Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma on Long Island. The battalion is part of the New York Army National Guard's 42nd Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade.

    The 642nd will conduct farewell ceremonies at the Army Aviation Support Facilities in Rochester and Ronkonkoma on January 22, 2023.

    The Soldiers from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th General Support Aviation Battalion, will take part in the ceremony in Rochester.

    The 642nd will conduct two weeks of training at Fort Indiantown Gap, a training base near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    The unit will then deploy to Fort Hood, Texas and conduct about two months of training before deploying to Kuwait.

    The Soldiers from Bravo Company will also train at Fort Indiantown Gap and move to Fort Hood, Texas with their helicopters for training. They will be under the control of their battalion at Fort Hood and in Kuwait while they fly missions in support of Army forces in the region.

    The 642nd will provide support to the 185th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade during operations throughout the region. The 185th is a Mississippi Army National Guard unit.

    The Soldiers from both units are expected to return home in about 11 months.

    The 642nd Aviation Support Battalion deployed to Kuwait in 2013 and 2014 as part of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, conducting support operations across the Middle East.

    In 2005, the battalion, then known as the 642nd Divisional Aviation Support Battalion, deployed to Tikrit, Iraq as part of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade and the 42nd Infantry Division.

    During that deployment, the battalion conducted 180 combat logistics patrols covering nearly 60,000 miles, while repelling multiple attacks by insurgent forces. The unit also recovered three downed aircraft.

    During the deployment two purple hearts were awarded and six vehicles were lost to enemy fire, but no Soldiers were killed.

    Here in New York, Soldiers of the battalion responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, and supported operations in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

    Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th General Support Aviation Battalion is a New York Army National Guard aviation company which is part of an Aviation battalion headquartered in Massachusetts.

    The Soldiers fly the CH-47F helicopter, which is the largest in the Army's inventory.

    The company deployed to Afghanistan – where the heavy lift and high-altitude capabilities of the CH-47 were vital. The unit served in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008, again in 2012 and 2013, and in 2018.

    Soldiers from the company participated in state responses to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the "Snowvember" Storm in 2014. This fall the unit deployed an aircraft and crew to Florida to assist in the response to Hurricane Ian.

    In May a Bravo Company CH-47 recovered a pontoon which was in danger of sweeping over Niagara Falls.

    Currently, 1,800 New York Army National Guard Soldiers are deployed in overseas missions.

    The 369th Sustainment Brigade has deployed 260 Soldiers in Kuwait providing support to the 10,000 Army Soldiers of Task Force Spartan.

    The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation, a UH-60 helicopter unit based in Latham and Ronkonkoma, has 250 troops deployed in Kuwait as well.

    The 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, along with companies from the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, and the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, -- amounting to 1,130 Soldiers -- are operating in the Horn of Africa, securing U.S. military facilities in the area.

    And in Germany, 140 Soldiers of Task Force Orion, from the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, are training Ukrainian soldiers, as part of the U.S. support for that nation's war effort.



    Date Taken: 01.20.2023
    Date Posted: 01.20.2023 07:59
    Story ID: 436991
    Location: ROCHESTER , NY, US 
    Hometown: DUNKIRK, NY, US
    Hometown: RONKONKOMA, NY, US

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