About 16 Soldiers from Charlie Company, 1-214th General Support Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, load up two HH-60 MedEvac Black Hawk helicopters onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft for movement to Norway in support of exercise Swift Response 2022, at Clay Kaserne, Germany on April 28. Swift Response demonstrates the strategic employment of the Global Response Force and validates the U.S. European Command’s ability to send high readiness forces into a designated area while advancing airborne interoperability among NATO allies. While providing MedEvac support, the 12 CAB Soldiers will also implement and execute essential training.
“Technically, we’re conducting training for ourselves to fold our aircraft and put them on an airplane to be sent somewhere else. Going to Norway will be a first-time opportunity for myself and others with folding aircraft and putting them on a C-17 for transport to a different country to help our NATO Allies. After the main rotor blades [are folded], that’s the point where the mechanics will take over. We want to be fast with the process but we don’t want to make mistakes,” said Spc. Timothy Yenter, a Black Hawk helicopter mechanic assigned to C-CO, 1-214th GSAB, 12 CAB.
Soldiers were able to improve the time to prepare the helicopters for transport. By the time they finished folding the second helicopter, they were able to finish in 30 minutes. While in Norway in support of Swift Response, the 12 CAB Soldiers will provide two MedEvac crews, one for each helicopter. When the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade gets to Norway they will be conducting operations for paratroopers from the Hungarian and Spanish armies with the support of our Norwegian allies in NATO. They will be providing 24-hour MedEvac coverage for three to four days depending on how long the drops take.
After all of the paratroopers complete their jump, they will be living on the side of a mountain during the final phases of their exercise. They will be ready just in case any of them develop any kind of sickness, hypothermia, or even sprained ankles to where they would need a helicopter to take them to a local hospital. Exercise Swift Response 2022 is an annual multinational training exercise, which takes place in Eastern Europe, the Arctic High North, Baltics, and Balkans from May 2-20, 2022. The purpose of the exercise is to present combat credible Army forces in Europe and Africa and enhance readiness by building airborne interoperability.