News: Hometown News Release: Spc. Jetaime Covello
Story by Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz
GHAZI AVIATION BASE, Pakistan – Spc. Jetaime Covello, a health care specialist with the 6th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, is currently serving here as part of Task Force Denali on a humanitarian assistance mission in support of Pakistan’s flood relief efforts.
“I joined the Army to be able to travel and get exposed to things beyond Chicago,” said Covello, standing on an airfield in South Asia and facing Tarbela Dam on the Indus River.
A Chicago native and graduate of Josephinum High School who plans to obtain a degree in nursing, she provides basic and emergency medical treatment to troops - at present, the soldiers of 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The general support aviation battalion of the 16th CAB out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska has been using the lift and movement capabilities of 18 CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to rapidly deliver aid and humanitarian assistance to flood-affected regions of the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The heavy rains of the 2010 monsoon season and unprecedented floods that followed displaced millions of inhabitants and caused widespread devastation in their wake.
Damage to livelihoods, property and infrastructure throughout the country is underscored by the fact that, at one point, nearly one-fifth of the land area was underwater.
Since commencing flight operations Sept. 11, TF Denali helicopters and personnel, working in close coordination with the Pakistan military, have provided airlift for more than 13 million pounds of relief supplies and transported more than 26,000 people.
“I think I will remember the Pakistani culture the most,” said Covello, praising a resilient quality of the people’s character, a perceived ability to recover from misfortune.
Part of the extended family of the Chicago Police Department which recently suffered the tragic loss of two of its own, Covello added, “I’d like to send my prayers and my support to their families as well.”