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    NY National Guard announces names of Soldiers killed in Texas helicopter crash on March 8, 2024

    NY National Guard Soldiers killed in border helicopter crash

    Courtesy Photo | New York Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Casey Frankoski, left, and Chief...... read more read more

    LATHAM, NY, UNITED STATES

    03.10.2024

    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    Two New York Army National Guard aviators were killed on Friday, March 8, when the UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopter they were flying crashed near Rio Grande City, Texas at 2:50 p.m. local time.

    A Border Patrol agent was also killed in the crash, and the aircraft crew chief was badly injured and is hospitalized.

    The Soldiers who are assigned to Detachment 2, A Company, of the 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment were operating as part of Joint Task Force North, a military unit which supports the Customs and Border Protection operations on the southwest border.

    The detachment, which specializes in flying missions in support of civilian agencies, is based at Army Aviation Flight Facility #3 at Albany International Airport in Latham.

    Twenty-one Soldiers from the units deployed to Texas in October 2023 to support the federal military mission.

    They are operating in federal duty status and are not part of the Texas National Guard’s Operation Lone Star.

    The New York Army National Guard has been flying the UH-72 Lakota helicopter since 2012 and has been deploying UH-72 pilots and support personnel to the southwest border in support of the Border Patrol since 2014.

    The aircraft that crashed was not one of the two UH-72s operated by the New York Army National Guard. It was assigned to the District of Columbia Army National Guard.

    Killed were Chief Warrant Officer 2 Casey Frankoski, age 28, a resident of Rensselaer, New York; and Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Grassia, age 30, a resident of Schenectady, New York.

    Frankoski, who is female, joined the New York Army National Guard in 2016. Grassia, has served in the New York Army National Guard since 2012.

    “We are all shocked and devastated by the loss of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Grassia, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Frankoski, while serving along the U.S. border in Texas,” said Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York.

    “We are praying for the quick recovery of the crew chief who was injured in the crash. Our deepest condolences also go out to the family and friends of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent who was also killed,” Shields added.

    The name of the injured Soldier is not being released due to privacy regulations.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Casey Frankoski.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Casey N. Frankoski, age 28 and a resident of Rensselaer, New York, enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in October 2016. She was appointed as a warrant officer in 2019 and trained to become a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot. She was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer 2 in 2021.

    She is a graduate of and Columbia High School and Schenectady County Community College with an associate degree in social science.

    Frankoski deployed to Kuwait from November 2018 to Sept. 2019 with Detachment 5, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 245th Aviation Regiment as a mission planner. The unit flies the Army’s C-12 transport aircraft.

    Her military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Basic Aviator Badge, and the Basic Aviation Badge.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Grassia

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Grassia, age 30, and a resident of Schenectady, enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2013 as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter maintenance specialist. He was appointed as a warrant officer in 2019 and trained to as a UH-60 pilot. He was promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2 in 2020.

    Grassia is a 2012 graduate of Schalmont High School in Schenectady.

    He deployed to Kuwait with Company A of the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion from September 2013 to September 2014. He was also on state active duty from 2020 to 2022 as part of the New York National Guard’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Basic Aviator Badge, and

    UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopter

    The UH-70 Lakota Light Utility Helicopter is configured to conduct general 2 missions and execute tasks in non-combat, non-hostile environments, usually in support of local and state government and law enforcement.

    A variant of the commercial American Eurocopter EC-145, the Lakota is a twin-engine, single-main-rotor helicopter. It has seating for two pilots and up to six passengers or two litters.

    Two Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 engines, combined with an advanced four-blade rotor system, provide lift and speed in a wide range of operating conditions. The UH-72 can be configured with two litters, passenger seating for a medical attendant and a crew chief.

    The UH-72A is equipped with modern communication and navigation avionics. It includes a 3-axis autopilot and single pilot Instrument Flight Rules capability. The cockpit is compatible with night vision devices. In addition to the MEDEVAC configuration, the UH-72A is also fielded in a security and support configuration.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.10.2024
    Date Posted: 03.10.2024 08:44
    Story ID: 465839
    Location: LATHAM, NY, US

    Web Views: 2,056
    Downloads: 3

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