NY Army National Guard aviation Soldiers heading to Caribbean for military exercise

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A UH-60 Black Hawk transports soldiers at London Air Base, Guyana during Tradewinds 2023. The New York Army National Guard is sending 45 aviators and four helicopters to Barbados for the 2024 exercise

LATHAM, NY (04/24/2024) (readMedia)-- Forty-five Latham-based New York Army National Guard Soldiers will be heading for the Caribbean at the end of April to take part in a 26-nation exercise called Exercise Tradewinds 2024.

The exercise is organized each year by the United States Southern Command. This year's exercise will take place on the island of Barbados and focus on combating transnational criminal organizations.

The 45 Soldiers will deploy for 20 days and are members of A Company of the 3rd Battalion of the 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, based at the Army Aviation Support Facility adjacent to Albany International Airport. They will deploy with four of the company's 10 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and provide airlift for the exercise.

The New York National Guard aviators will be on hand to provide casualty evacuation and provide logistical support and VIP transport.

They will also support several training events involving helicopter support including:

• Air assault raids.

• Fast roping, in which troops exit a hovering helicopter by sliding down a rope.

• And helocasting, jumping from a helicopter into water.

The four helicopters will be loaded on board C-17 Globemaster III transports at Albany International Airport and flown to Barbados and back.

From August to May of 2023 250 of the battalion's Soldiers and 22 UH-60M helicopters were deployed to Kuwait in support of U.S. Army operations in the Middle East.