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Latest DUSTOFF News

If it's been a couple of weeks since your last visit to our site, you may want to visit our Old New Page (or any of the past years located in the left buttons) and get caught up on what you may have missed.


AUSA 2017 Black Hawk Breakfast

AUSA Black Hawk Breakfast

Sikorsky Aircraft has been a valued supporter of the DUSTOFF Community for years. They are honoring us at a breakfast to be held in conjunction with an AUSA event. If you are in the area and can attend, you are invited to represent the DUSTOFF Family of Warriors.

MG Pat Sargent, Deputy Commanding General, US Army Medical Command is the guest speaker this year. Sikorsky Aircraft will recognize the MEDEVAC/DUSTOFF community for their outstanding support to the US Army and Army Aviation.

PLEASE RSVP in accordance with this flier by Friday 22 September by e-mailing Rita Burke rita.a.burke@lmco.com 


DUSTOFF Association Scholarship Winner

DUSTOFF Association Scholarship.Congratulations to Taylor J. Slagle – Grandchild of DUSTOFFer LTC (R) Jim Wingate – he’ll be attending University of Arizona.


The DUSTOFF Association Scholarship is administered for the DUSTOFF Association by the AAAA (Army Aviation Association of America). The DUSTOFF Association Memorial Scholarship is open to DUSTOFF Association members, spouses, children and grandchildren of DUSTOFF Association members. [Read More]




Alamo DUSTOFF Helps in Houston

Alamo DUSTOFF is assisting residents of the Houston area as part of Texas Taskforce 1.



WO1 John Stephen Chrin Day

On 13 October, a remembrance will be held for WO1 John Stephen Chrin and the crew of DUSTOFF 71, 57th Med Det. DUSTOFF 71 was lost on a night time mission in rain and fog in the Seven Sisters Mountains of Viet Nam, on 13 October 1971. John Chrin was a native of Lebanon, PA and is buried in Lebanon. A remembrance for John and A/C CWO Ronald K. Shultz, CC SGT Michael Darrah, Flight Medic SGT Hugo Gaytan, PFC Rickey Pate, OJT Crew Chief, and all veterans, will be held the morning of the 13, “WO1 John Stephen Chrin Day in the City of Lebanon”.

Anyone who may be in the area of South Central PA (Lebanon is 25 miles East of Harrisburg – 20 miles North of Lancaster – 20 West of Reading) is welcome to attend. E-mail Bill Sypher at sypher1@comcast.net or call 717-865-5982 for directions and specific information.

Longest DUSTOFF Unit Self-deployment

Twenty-seven years ago this month the 45th Medical Company (AA), commanded by MAJ Richard S. Ellenberger, MSC, flew twelve Black Hawk helicopters 3,500 miles from Darmstadt, Germany, to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The trip, which was spread over five days, took the crews south from Germany, through Austria, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt, and into Saudi Arabia-the longest unit self-deployment of the UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter ever attempted. It challenged their resourcefulness in mountain, over-water, and open desert flight. One crew repaired a rotor blade skin separation by drilling holes in the blade with a hand drill and injecting glue using syringes from their medical supply kit.


Once in the Persian Gulf the crews dealt with the ever-present elements of heat, sand, desert navigation, and flying with night-vision goggles. CPT Randall G. Anderson, MSC, a pilot with the 57th Medical Detachment of the XVIII Airborne Corps, said his crew of four found that the Black Hawk helicopter was a multipurpose vehicle in addition to being an ambulance. The constant requirement for mobility necessitated keeping all their personal effects with them at all times, and they used every nook and cranny of the aircraft for storage. They found that the four-litter carousel support device in the cabin afforded the crew an excellent place to sleep. The helicopter's main rotor blade served as a hanger for a shower bucket and, despite the fact that bathers were covered by blowing sand by the time they dried off the shower made them feel (and smell) clean. So equipped, Anderson's crew evacuated four thousand patients during the operation, including over a thousand enemy prisoners of war.

MAJ Ellenberger flew as Flight Lead (navigation) in Chalk #1 with the unit Instructor Pilot, CW3 Rich Seifried, for the formation and also as the Air Mission Commander for “Talon Flight” with SIX Diplomatic Clearances (Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cypress, and Egypt) based on a contingency plan developed for the Middle East region by LTC Art Hapner.


 A “slick” Blackhawk without ESSS tanks has about a 300 nautical mile flight range (very “short” legs). The takeoff at Pathos, Cypress to Port Said, Egypt required a “tail wind” to make landfall on the Egyptian coast with the required 20-minute reserve fuel (225 lbs. of JP5).


Army personnel lost contact with the UH-60 Black Hawk DUSTOFF helicopter about 2130 Tuesday, 15 Aug 17, half an hour after it left Wheeler airfield. The helicopter was flying with a second Army helicopter on a routine training mission. The search for the downed craft began immediately after the aircrew lost visual and video contact with the other helicopter.


The crew consisted of 1LT Kathryn M. Bailey, 26, of Hope Mills, N.C., CW3 Brian M. Woeber, 41, of Decatur, Ala., CW2 Stephen T. Cantrell, 32, of Wichita Falls, TX, SST Abigail R. Milam, 33, of Jenkins, KY, and SGT Michael L. Nelson, 30, of Antioch, TN. CW3 Woeber flew with C/1-214 DUSTOFF commanded by Pat Zenk in Afghanistan and ILT Bailey was the daughter of COL Tom Bailey a DUSTOFF Aviator.


The massive search for the five soldiers started shortly after the chopper went down and continued through the weekend, extending up to 160 miles from Kaena Point and as far as Niihau.


The Coast Guard and Army made the tough decision 21 Aug 17 to suspend the search for five crewmembers missing since 15 Aug 17, and begin a salvage and recovery operation.


Spring-Summer 2017 DUSTOFFer

The latest issue of our award-winning newsletter has been published. Make sure you visit the newsletter to keep up with what's happening in the aeromedical field, read more about the Memorial Helicopter Fund, and read the credentials of this year's nomination for the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame.

[Read More]












2018 DUSTOFF Reunion Dates Set

Mark the dates NOW for DUSTOFF Reunion 2018. We will be meeting at the Holiday Inn - Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX the first week of May. Early check in will be Wednesday, 2 May 2018, for a possible repeat of the wine tour to Fredericksburg, TX with a stop specifically planned for Lukenbach, TX will be on Thursday, 3 May 2018. The Golf Tournament will be on Friday, May 4, 2018. The General Membership Meeting and Spouses' Luncheon will be Saturday Morning, 5 May 2018, followed by the Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet that evening. We'll close out the 39th Annual Reunion with our Memorial Service on Sunday, 6 May 2018.

Block the dates now - and let's have a really large turnout!

Help Find Lost Association Members

We have an abnormally large number of Association members we can no longer communicate with. When postcards are sent out, for instance to announce voting for Hall Of Fame inductees, we've received cards as "Undeliverable." Please take a moment to scan the list of lost members and send us contact information if you find your name or you know the where-about of someone on the list. [See List]

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