06 May 2010

Take Your Blackhawk to School Day

A hometown boy in the news.

Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta, New York Army National Guard .
Chief Warrant Officer David Rogers, a pilot with the NewYork Army National Guard's 249th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), is lifted into a Blackhawk helicopter following survival training at Mount Morris Dam Thursday.
MT MORRIS, NY -- From starting fires to hunting bugs and snakes, Soldiers of the New York Army National Guard's 249th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) did it all here Thursday, taking to the woods to brush up on their survival skills.

About a dozen Soldiers from the aero medical evacuation unit took part in the training near the Mt. Morris Dam, an Army Corps of Engineers facility. Most of the Soldiers belong to flight crews of the unit, which rescues Soldiers wounded in battle or victims of natural or man-made disasters.

In addition to starting fires, foraging and sharpening their land navigation skills, the Soldiers purified water and learned how to best utilize the equipment arrayed in their survival vests and kits.

"In a survival situation, it's just dead weight if you don't know how to use it," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Rogers, a pilot, and native of Honeoye Falls.

Deploying to the dam area in a Blackhawk helicopter, the Soldiers quickly collected wood and water and dug a Dakota Stove, essentially a small, shallow hole that draws air through a shaft sunk diagonally into to it. This design minimizes light given off by the stove's fire, providing for stealthy cooking and warmth.
On Tuesday CWO2 Rogers landed a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the Honeoye Falls-Lima High School as a lesson to the technology class which has been studying transportation systems by sea, land and air. Rogers, who is a former student there said "his former HF-L teachers went out of their way to help him, so he was glad to return the favor."

Sources here and here.

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