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Old Apr 24, 2010, 06:21 AM
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Night Medevac Chase in Afghanistan

For the last few days (and for the next week +) I am assigned to night Med Chase. What does that mean? That means my buddy Justin and I, along with two crew chiefs are working from 1830 to 0630 every night. Our job? Provide security and cas-evac for the Medevac bird.

In plain english, that means if there is a soldier, or local national that is wounded, the Med gets launched and we follow them. If they are landing "outside the wire" to pick up an individual, our job is to provide airborne security to them while on the ground and in flight. Our secondary mission is to assist in picking up any wounded individuals that will not fit in the Med bird or are not injured so severely as to need immediate medical attention. We then transport the soldier/civilian to the hospital as fast as we possibly can.

Its a tough mission to be on. When we fly it means someone has been injured or killed. Every time we start the helicopter its very bitter sweet, because as Army Aviators, we WANT to fly, day and night, as much as we can! But flying because someone has been wounded sucks. It can be gratifying to know that at times we are responsible for getting the wounded soldiers to medical attention VERY quickly and many times saving their lives. Other times, you wish you had never taken off.

Last night, shortly after dark, we decided that you all would like to see what WE see when we are flying with our Night Vision Goggles. So we snapped a couple pics out by our bird to give you all an idea what its like to fly with goggles strapped to your head. I'd love to get you some in flight pictures, but, we tend to get a little busy when we are in the air. Maybe later we'll have the time to snap a couple in-route NVG pictures.

These pictures are VERY bright due to the amount of light that is present on the air field. It gets quite a bit darker once we are away from all the airfield lights.

Laine.
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Old Apr 24, 2010, 02:57 PM
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Michael Yon did a story on the PJ's including a famous shot of an Air Force heroine saving a man. Wonder if those are the same ones you're escorting. Can't imagine flying with night vision goggles unless the goggles have some kind of HUD.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/pedros.htm

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Old Apr 24, 2010, 10:01 PM
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Michael Yons stuff is pretty cool. I been reading his things for a couple years now.

The Med-evac guys we escort are UH-60 guys/gals in our own Battalion. We cover RC South here near Kandahar.

We do have a Heads Up Display that mounts onto our goggles. Most of us dont use it too often though. It is usefull for certain missions, but on Med Chase, we usually dont have the time to get it set up that we need. So, we go without it.

Laine.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:16 AM
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Laine, Thanks for the details and photos! They help to remind us here at home of the challenges of the difficult task you and your fellow soldiers have taken on in our behalf.

Thank You!!!

Take Care!
DT56
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Thanks for showing us what it's like over there. Your posts are very much anticipated and appreciated. Come home safe!
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Glad to hear your doing alright. I cant even begin to imagine what its like flying with the night vision.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 05:08 AM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
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Thanks guys. Here in a few days/weeks, I'll be back on daytime flying again. I'll get some pictures of the area down here near Kandahar. Its pretty much desolate except for right along the rivers. Nothing like it was up in the Bagram/Kabul area.

Laine.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verticalspark View Post
Glad to hear your doing alright. I cant even begin to imagine what its like flying with the night vision.
Yeah, I'm a full scale helo pilot with zero NVG experience and I think it would be interesting to try sometime. If you had to auto at night, I'd bet it would be a lot better than just landing lights.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 11:03 PM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
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Oh heck yeah! Night un-aided is not my favorite way to fly. Over here, we DONT fly un-aided at all at night. In the States we do, but not very often. Mostly IFR and NVG low level "time on target" stuff.

Laine.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 11:07 PM
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I'm jealous. I can't wait to fly choppers like they're meant to be flown.
I've got a month left of instruments, followed by a (hopefully) kick-ass month of BWS.

I should be out at Lowe by September... can't wait!
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 02:13 AM
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Hey Flyinlo, BWS is probably the most fun you will have flying helicopters. Enjoy the heck out of it man. When I went through, we flew OH-58A and C models. LOVE that little helicopter!

Hawks are a great bird, but, I am not interrested in the new M model... it flys itself, you just monitor. I'll stick the the L models like I have been flying.

Laine.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 07:41 AM
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Half our class will be in the OH-58, half in the TH-67. Personally, I would prefer the doors OFF

My unit doesn't have any Mike's yet, but they'll be getting a couple of Lakotas next year

Have you ever seen the Comanche on post? (It may have been in the museum when you came through... but it's hidden away, collecting dust in a random building now)
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 08:55 AM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
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I got to sit in the Comanche up in Huntsville a few years ago just before they "decomissioned" them... bad bird for sure! Got a nice picture of it somewhere with me and a buddy in it.

Laine.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Thank GOD for you and your guys and the job you are performing...
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 09:53 PM
Team Cobra!!! Ssssssss!
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Thanks man. Its a great feeling to know you have helped someone.

Laine.
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