Afghan bound Rochester-based NY Army National Guard Soldiers hold deployment ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 2
ROCHESTER , NY (01/01/2019) (readMedia)-- Forty-six Rochester-based New York Army National Guard Soldiers who are deploying to Afghanistan will be saluted during a farewell ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at the National Guard's aviation support facility at Rochester International Airport.
Members of the media are invited to cover the event.
WHO: Forty-six Soldiers assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion and their families.
WHAT: A farewell ceremony prior to the Soldiers departure for Fort Bliss, Texas where they will conduct training for a month before deploying to their duty station in Southern Afghanistan. The Soldiers will be departing for Fort Bliss in two groups, one flying helicopters on Jan. 3 and another going via commercial airline on Jan. 6. Wednesday, Jan. 2 is a chance for all members of the unit to be together with their families.
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019
WHERE: Army Aviation Support Facility #2 at 76 Patriot Way, Rochester
Reporters will have an opportunity to speak with unit and National Guard leaders, deploying Soldiers and family members. Video and still imagery opportunities will include troops in formation with helicopters in the background and speakers.
Members of the press must contact Sgt. 1st Class William Shephard at 716-572-2525 for access to this secure military location
Company C, 1st battalion 171st General Support Aviation Battalion is a medical evacuation company which flies UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters which can be equipped with hoists and configured to carry stretchers in the cabin area.
The unit mission in Afghanistan will be to provide helicopter medical evacuation support to United States and Allied forces.
The unit will deploy to Afghanistan following a month of training at Fort Bliss, Texas. Helicopters which are normally based at Rochester International Airport will be flown to Fort Bliss and used for training. When the unit deploys they will use UH-60 medical evacuation helicopters which are already on the ground in Afghanistan.
In 2012/2013 43 members of the unit, then known as Company F 1st Battalion 169th General Support Aviation Battalion deployed to Afghanistan . Working alongside members of the Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Missouri Army National Guard's the Soldiers conducted 471 missions and transported 527 personnel in Helmand Province.
Earlier this year the unit based in Rochester deployed two helicopters and crews to the Carolinas in the aftermath of the Hurricane Florence in September 2018. The medical evacuation unit also responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Tropical Storm Irene and Lee in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.