NY Army Guard helicopter units holds deployment ceremony today, Thursday, June 9 in Ronkonkoma
RONKONKOMA, NEW YORK (06/09/2022) (readMedia)-- One hundred fifty-seven Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment will officially say goodbye to their families as they depart New York for deployment to Kuwait today, Thursday, June 9 during a ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Ronkonkoma.
Members of the press are invited to cover the farewell ceremony and the departure takeoff of 10 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for Fort Hood, Texas after the ceremony.
WHO: New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to Headquarters Company, Bravo Company, and Echo Company of the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment and Major General Thomas Spencer, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division.
WHAT: A formal send-off ceremony for Soldiers in the New York Army National Guard's Assault Helicopter Battalion as they depart for post-mobilization training at Fort Hood, Texas.
The helicopters with aircrews on board will depart on the four-day flight to Fort Hood at about 2:30 p.m. non-aircrew members will fly commercially on June 10.
The battalion's Alpha and Delta Companies are holding a farewell ceremony at the same time at their home armory at Albany International Airport in Latham.
A total of 257 Soldiers are part of the deployment.
WHEN: 11 a.m. Thursday, June 9, 2022
WHERE: Army Aviation Support Facility, 201 Schafer Drive Ronkonkoma
Video of the sendoff ceremony and interviews with troops, families and leaders. Reporters can return later to obtain video of the aircraft leaving the flight facility.
Reporters must contact 1st Lt. Rhyan St. Clair at 678-243-8553 for access to this secure military facility.
The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation is an assault helicopter battalion which flies the UH-60m Black Hawk helicopter. The Soldiers train to move military personnel and equipment around a battlefield or perform administrative aviation support.
The UH-60M is the latest version of the Black Hawk helicopter which has been in service since the early 1980s. The UH-60M has a digital cockpit and upgraded systems. The aircraft has a crew of four and can carry ten Soldiers and their equipment.
The aircraft flown to Fort Hood, Texas will be waterproofed and loaded on board ships heading to Kuwait. The Soldiers will train with different aircraft at Fort Hood.
The battalion will be in Kuwait and the Middle East for about 10 months providing support to United States Central Command and operating in Kuwait and Iraq.
The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation deployed to Iraq in 2008-1009 and to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf area in 2013-2014. The battalion also deployed aircraft and crews to Puerto Rico in the wake of a 2017 Hurricane to provide aid.
The battalion's aviators have been involved in New York State responses to Super Storm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricanes Irene and lee in 2011.
Aircrews assigned to the battalion are also called upon to conduct firefighting operations when the New York State Police aviation unit requires assistance.