Eight New York Army National Guard Aviation detachment Soldiers deploying from Albany to Kuwait
LATHAM, NY (11/14/2018) Eight New York Army National Guard Soldiers who are trained to fly and support the Army's C-12 passenger aircraft will be heading to Kuwait following training at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The Soldiers of Detachment 5, Company C of the 2nd Battalion 245th Aviation Regiment and their families held a short farewell ceremony on Wednesday, November 14 at the Army Aviation Flight Facility at Albany International Airport. The detachment is based at the flight facility.
The C-12 is a military version of the Beechcraft Super King Air turboprop plane which can carry as many as 13 people or high value cargo. The detachment normally flies commanders and key personnel from National Guard headquarters in Latham throughout the United States.
In his remarks, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christopher Panarese, the detachment commander, said that the most important people at the Nov. 14 ceremony were the family members of the Soldiers.
"We often find at these events that we focus on the Soldiers and what they are going to do and overlook the families," Panarese said. "But we need to recognize them."
"Overseas we focus on the mission and take care of each other, but the families will be dealing with the snow removal and the sick kids, "Panarese said.
The families serve as much as the Soldiers, Panarese said.
In his remarks, Major General Raymond Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, told the families that the New York National Guard and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs would be there to support them through the National Guard's family program.
"Any help you need is a phone call away," Shields said.
The detachments Soldiers will depart Latham this week for Fort Bliss. They are expected to depart for Kuwait by the end of November.
The New York Army National Guard Soldiers will deploy to Ali al Salem Air Base in Kuwait in conjunction with a unit from Missouri and fly missions in support of operations in the Central Command area of operations which stretches from the Persian Gulf to Iraq and Afghanistan.
They will fly aircraft already stationed at the base. The unit will fly commanders, key personnel, and high-priority cargo around the region.
The Soldiers are expected to return from their deployment in the summer of 2019.
This is the third time the C-12 detachment based at Latham has deployed.
In 2009 the unit deployed Soldiers to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan as part of Task Force Odin, an aerial observation team designed to stop insurgents from mining roads and setting up improvised explosive device ambushes.
In 2013 the unit deployed Soldiers to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.