2013 Old Front Page News
FLATIRON Air Ambulance/Crash-Rescue Reunion
ALL former or current: pilots, firefighters, medics, crash guards and
maintenance personnel. The 2nd Bi-Annual FLATIRON reunion will be held 25-27
April 2014 at Ft. Rucker, AL.
Warren R. Blake
P.O. Box 67
North Conway, NH 03869
Gene A. Bess
447 Marshall Drive
Saint Robert, MO 65584
AAAA Scholarship Application Deadline
Please remember that membership in the DUSTOFF Association is required
as well as membership in Army Aviation Association. For additional
information, please visit our DUSTOFF
Scholarship Award page.
Ben Knisely Visits C/2-3GSAB
Knisely was invited back to his former unit by its current commander, MAJ
Jason Jones, to share a piece of history. As a lieutenant in Viet Nam, Ben
Knisely flew with the 498th Air Ambulance Company that was later reflagged
C/2-3 General Support Aviation Battalion.
Knisely’s air ambulance was shot down by an RPG while performing a hoist
mission in the A Shau valley. After being dragged to safety by his co-pilot,
the two evaded capture for three days, without food or water, as the enemy
was nearby on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Knisely told his combat story apologizing ahead of time for getting
emotional. He said it was the first time telling the story to a group, since
most of the time he only explained it to family members. His composure was
impressive during the recollection of events, even telling the occasional
joke for levity.
“We had decided between the two of us that if we heard anybody in a
rescue mode that we would wait until we look them in the eye to make sure
they were Americans. That was our plan,” said Knisely, when discussing the
rescue plan with his co-pilot. Knisely later jokes about himself and his
co-pilot jumping up and waving their arms at the sound of an approaching
voice saying, “hey DUSTOFF.” He said that contrary to what they agreed was
the plan, both of them just yelled for help, joked Knisely.
Fall/Winter 2013 DUSTOFFer
latest edition of the acclaimed DUSTOFFer Newsletter is
available for you to
download and read at your leisure on your mobile device or send to your
printer so you may read it while sitting on the "throne."
As always, Suzie Gower and Jim Truscott have turned out a great issue with
informative articles and terrific human interest stories from past conflicts
and about present crewmembers saving lives around the world. Come to the
next reunion and give them the proverbial pat on the back for all their hard
DUSTOFF Association To Receive
Legacy of Service Award
Washington, D.C. – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) will host
its fourth annual signature fundraiser, the Build the Center Benefit, on
November 21, 2013 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. This gala event was
created to raise awareness and funds for the building of the Education
Center at The Wall while also honoring individuals who have been visible,
vocal and generous in their effort to bring greater awareness of the values
of loyalty, duty and service.
This year VVMF is proud to salute individuals and groups who cared for
the wounded, not only highlighting the bravery of those who served America
overseas, but focusing on the role that medical teams from all branches
played in providing in-country life-saving care to our fighting forces and
The DUSTOFF Association will be honored with the Legacy of Service award.
VVMF will honor the 214 DUSTOFF Warriors who gave their lives in the course
of the Vietnam War so that others might live, the five DUSTOFF Warriors
still missing in action, and the thousands of members of the DUSTOFF
Association. Accepting the award on behalf of the DUSTOFF Association and
all DUSTOFF Warriors will be COL Doug Moore, (Ret.) Vietnam DUSTOFF Aviator,
DUSTOFF Hall of Fame and Army Aviation Hall of Fame member.
“There are those who walk among us today who would not be here were it
not for the dedicated and unhesitating service provided to our fighting
forces,” said Dan Gower, Executive Director of the DUSTOFF Association. “An
American service member’s survival in Vietnam depended on the response of
the DUSTOFF pilot and the medic or hospital corpsman that came to their
rescue,” said VVMF Founder and President Jan C. Scruggs. “The valiant
medical staff in Vietnam saved countless lives, giving tens of thousands of
soldiers the opportunity to return home to their families, friends and loved
ones. VVMF is proud to recognize these unsung heroes.” “The infantryman on
the ground today, as well as during the Vietnam War, knows that in his time
of crisis DUSTOFF will come - and they will come in spite of the risks,”
Gower said. [Learn more.]
Matching Tradition, DUSTOFF Lifts
Patient Care To A Higher Level
medevac platoon at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Nangarhar Province,
Afghanistan, is comprised of soldiers from the Michigan and New Hampshire
National Guard, and continues the Dustoff tradition of providing timely aid
to injured service members on or off the battlefield.
Meeting the demands of the medevac profession requires constant training.
Because of this, U.S. Army soldiers from the Medevac Platoon “Dustoff,”
Company C, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Dragon,
conducted hoist exercises on a mountaintop near FOB Fenty, 16 Sep 13. [Read
DUSTOFF Helps At Colorado Flood
crews from C/2-4 Avn Regt, Ft. Carson, CO commanded by Seth O. Swartz are
assisting with rescue and recovery operations due to massive flooding near
Boulder, CO, in support of the Colorado National Guard. To date, 43 persons
were hoisted in the recovery effort. [See
H-19 Restoration Project
McWilliam's son, John has restored an H-19 in his backyard in Keller, TX. He
located and purchased the Chickasaw in FL. He's been on this project for
almost one year assisted by his brother Mike from CO and other comrades
interested in this type of undertaking . This aircraft will be placed in the
AMEDD Museum at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, with dedication date of 15
Oct 13 at 0930.
The plaque accompanying the helicopter will dedicate the aircraft in
honor of COL Bob McWilliam. The plaque will read: This representation of an
early Sikorsky H-19C helicopter was restored and donated to the AMEDD Museum
by John D. and Michael R. McWilliam in honor of their father, COL Robert D.
Col McWilliam was born in northern CA. After graduating from the
University of California in 1954, he entered the US Army. He began his Army
Aviation career as a "Solo-Pilot" in 1955 at Landstuhl, Germany, flying the
Bell H-13. He transitioned to the Sikorsky H-19, which he continued to fly
at Ft. Sam Houston, TX. He then transitioned to the Bell UH-1, which he flew
during two tours in Vietnam. The first, in 1962-1963 with the original
"DUSTOFF" unit, the 57th Med. Det. in Nha Trang. The second, as the
Commander of the 54th Med. Det in Chu Lai, 1967-1968. COL McWilliam served
in the US Army for 30 years, during which time he earned a Masters Degree in
Hospital Administration from Baylor University. COL McWilliam is remembered
as one of the greatest DUSTOFF pilots and unit Commanders in US Army
Army Awards Medevac Training System Contract
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a National Security Solutions
provider, was awarded a new multi-million dollar contract to develop UH-60
Black Hawk medevac air crew training systems for the US Army. The company
will provide multiple simulated full-fidelity Medical Support Equipment
Suite (MSES) trainers to teach flight medic students how to operate all the
necessary onboard systems.
The MSES is a full-fidelity training system proving flight medics with the
training required to treat, stabilize and provide in-flight medical care to
critically injured patients while transported onboard the air ambulance. The
simulated systems replicate the confined environment of the air ambulance
and include a fully functional medical interior kit.
In addition, the training system will support scenario-based team mission
training. Teams will be able to use an authentic training environment for
communication, patient loading and unloading, and patient care, while
addressing obstruction issues under day, night and NVG conditions, just as
they might encounter under actual combat situations.
10th Mountain Medevacs Fly to Rescue Injured Comrades
screens in their control center spit out the "nine-line," a simple document
that informs any medevac crew of everything they need to know for the rescue
mission, including the likelihood of an attack on the ground.
Every Dustoff mission includes two helicopters. One marked with a Red Cross,
which Geneva Convention regulations dictate cannot carry heavy weapons on
board. It is usually accompanied by a sister helicopter that traded these
markings for twin M-240 Hotel machine guns.
Within an hour of the initial alert, a medevac unit similar to Dustoff
brought the fighter to Jalalabad for initial surgery. Less than an hour
after receiving this care, he was delivered to Kabul where he would likely
survive his injuries to fight again. [Read
Patrick Brady To Be Honored At 51st Annual National Aviation Hall of
Hall of Fame (NAHF) will soon add another illustrious name to its roster
of 215 air and space pioneers previously honored by the Congressionally
chartered organization. The first Army Aviator to be enshrined into the Hall
will be retired MG Patrick H. Brady. He will be inducted on 4 Oct 13.
Considered by many to be the top helicopter pilot of the Vietnam War, Brady
is legendary among Army aviation and aerial medevac communities. His 34-year
Army career includes flying over 2,500 combat missions as a Dustoff
helicopter pilot, saving over 5,000 wounded, and earning the Medal of Honor
among his other awards for valor. He also developed foul weather and
tactical techniques for air ambulance rescue, none of which had ever been
executed in combat before. Serving to present Brady his enshrinement at the
ceremony will be his daughter, former Army CPT Meghan Brady Smith.
The enshrinement dinner and ceremony will be Friday, 4 Oct 13 at the
National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center and the adjacent National
Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Often referred to as
“America’s Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie dinner and ceremony is
open to the public and reservations are available by advance purchase from
the NAHF. Patron seats are $150 each and Premium seats are $300 each.
Sponsored tables are also available.
OH-23 Medevac Helicopter Dedication
at Fort Campbell
Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion
(WTB) is now the proud home of a Korean War era OH-23 Raven medical
evacuation helicopter. WTB leadership, along with the Blanchfield Army
Community Hospital commander and 101st Airborne Division leaders, dedicated
the aircraft display at a ceremony in its new home at the WTB
the ceremony, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Ft. Campbell Senior
Mission Commander Brig. Gen. Stammer recognized all of the men and women
within the WTB, honoring them for their dedication to healing, overcoming
personal obstacles and transitioning either back to their units or into the
civilian world as honored veterans.
front of the gathered crowd of WTB Soldiers and staff, veterans who served
in the Korean War, and other guests, Stammer spoke of the symbolic nature of
the Raven’s mission of helping Soldiers transition, just as the WTB helps
Soldiers transition today.
“The Raven heralded in a new age of Army Medicine, this aircraft was the
first of its kind to evacuate wounded soldiers and civilians by air, quickly
and efficiently, from the battlefield,” said Stammer.
DUSTOFF Association was represented by our President, COL
(R) Johnny West and COL(R) Bill Colbert, a member of the
Solo Pilot Society who had 150 missions evacuating patients
using the OH-23 during his tour in Korea.
CPT Rodney Potter, WTB Logistics officer who spearheaded the restoration,
explained that prior to the Army introducing the Raven for
medical evacuations, it might take hours or days to
transport a Soldier over land from the battlefield to get
the medical care they needed. By air, Soldiers could be out
of harm’s way in just minutes.
think this display is a perfect example of how the Army is
always working to improve the ways we take care of our
Soldiers,” said Potter. “That’s what the WTB is about,
making it right for our Soldiers.”
The Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell previously displayed the Raven around
1975, however the aircraft was in disrepair when the
restoration began six months ago.
The helicopter was restored at minimal cost to the Army thanks to the hard work
by structural aircraft mechanics from Company B, 563rd
Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade,
101st Airborne Division on behalf of Fort Campbell WTB
Crew Chief of the Year - Rescue of the Year Awards Presented
Due to funding constraints, the Crew Chief of the Year, SGT Kelton
Glorfield, and the Rescue of the Year Award (CW3 Monica Narhi, PIC, CPT
Jerrell Whaley, P, SFC Deane Bostick, MO, and SSG Jesse Allen, CE) were
awarded at Fort Bragg on 13
Jun 13. In attendance was MAJ (R) Graham Bundy, former commander of C-3-82
and the recommending officer. Also presenting awards that day were Scott
Schisser from Sikorsky Aircraft who sponsors the Rescue of the Year Award
and Christine Hawk from Breeze Eastern who sponsors the Crew Chief of the
As cited on the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Facebook Page,
The DUSTOFF Association honored troopers of DUSTOFF 72, C Company, 3rd
Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Jul 13. CW3
CPT Jerrell Whaley, CPT Bryan Kozak, SFC Dean Bostik and SSG Jesse Allen
were named Rescue Crew of the Year. SGT Kelton Glorfield was named Crew
Chief of the Year. These troopers showed exceptional valor during their tour
to Afghanistan in 2012. Dustoff’s former commander, MAJ Graham Bundy,
retired, was in attendance to speak to the formation. “I was so proud of the
time I spent with these troopers and I am very proud of them,” Bundy said.
Flatiron Welcomes New Detachment Sergeant
Troy Rudolph, incoming detachment sergeant, assumed
responsibility from SFC Gregory Givings, outgoing detachment
sergeant, as the NCO sword was passed from Givings to MAJ Joseph
C. Alexander, Flatiron commander, to Rudolph during a change of
responsibility ceremony in the Flatiron conference room.
“This is a very small organization with a huge mission, and
today we have the awesome opportunity to say goodbye to Sergeant
Givings and welcome Sergeant Rudolph,” said Alexander. “I’ve had
the great pleasure of working with Sergeant Rudolph, and I’m
looking forward to having him come on board as the detachment
Rudolph began his military career when he enlisted in the Navy
in 1993 as a hospital corpsman. He was honorably discharged from
the Navy in March 1997, and enlisted in the Army as a 91B Combat
Medic in November of the same year.
New T-shirt In DUSTOFF Store
you visited the DUSTOFF Store lately? When you have some time, take a walk
through the store and see the items we have for sale. We've just added
another item - a DUSTOFF Honor T-shirt.
Go ahead...click here to open the
the DUSTOFF Store. We'd love to have you stop in.
Restored Solo Pilot Aircraft
Honors War Casualties
dedicated team of structural aircraft mechanics with Company B (the
"Bandits"), 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade,
101st Airborne Division, has devoted numerous hours of their personal time
to restoring a
Hiller OH-23B Raven helicopter at Ft. Campbell, KY, soon to
be on display outside the Warrior Transition Battalion here.
"The Raven was used to transport wounded Soldiers from the battlefield to
the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MAST) units," said CPT Rodney Potter, the
XO for the WTB. "It's symbolic because we, as a WTB also. help Soldiers
either get back to the Army or transition out."
were a group of courage, committed and innovative elite military aviators
brought rotary wing ambulances into the battlefield environment during the
This aircraft will be dedicated on 13 Jun 13 at Ft. Campbell, KY.
SFC Armando Ocon Named
AAAA NCO of the Year
Armando Ocon, a flight medic from Company C, 3rd Battalion,
25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, was
presented with the 2012 Army Aviation Association of America
Rodney J.T. Yano Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award
at the 2013 AAAA Annual Professional Forum in Fort Worth,
TX, 11 Apr 13.
During 2012, SFC Ocon served as a senior flight medic,
company standardization instructor, and platoon sergeant for
“Lightning DUSTOFF” in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
On more than one occasion, SFC Ocon selflessly risked his
own safety to save Troops on the battlefield. “SFC Ocon
embodies the NCO Creed,” said CPT Margaret Larson, executive
officer, C/3-25 AVN. “He is always willing to mentor
soldiers and leaders. He does the same tasks he asks of his
Montenegro Humanitarian Assistance
than six months after returning from a tour in Afghanistan
where CPT Hill saw some of the worst of the worst, he was
chosen to lead the Aeromedical Evacuation part of the
support of Montenegro during some horrible winter weather.
The 1-214th Aviation Regiment from Germany deployed with a
part of C-1-214th in support. Here is a clip from a video
highlighting the humanitarian mission performed. In the
words of his former commander Major Patrick Zenk, “Terry
Hill is a stud that represents those of us who came before
him, and presents a great example of a young DUSTOFFer who
is continuing the legacy."
AdoptaPlatoon Highlights DUSTOFF Unit
is an organization that sponsors campaigns for sending
items to our troops. One current campaign is "To Afghanistan
With Love." U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan have a
difficult task and need to know they are supported. By
participating in one of their campaigns, support is sent to
chaplains and/or civilians supporting our troops in the area
and items are distributed to the troops. [See
FlightSafety Looking For UH-60 Pilots
International is hiring UH-60 pilots, here
and overseas, with attractive salaries. Check
Instructor Job and
Simulator Location documents for additional information.
All employment opportunities with FlightSafety International
are subject to specific job skill requirements,
qualifications and preferred experience. The
employment opportunities provided on their Web site are for
informational purposes only and subject to change in
availability and content at any time without prior notice.
Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit
Reading of the names of the 3,417 Texans who died in Vietnam
was conducted by more than 110 volunteers, including 30
names of fallen fellow Texans read by DUSTOFFer Wayne Aurich
was done at the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium of the Lyndon
B. Johnson Presidential Library. On the same day, the Texas
Vietnam Heroes Exhibit of 3,417 hand-stamped dog tags
honoring each Texan was opened in the Great Hall of the LBJ
U.S. Army "DUSTOFF" crewmember aboard medical evacuation
helicopters, Aurich is beyond certain that among the tags
are names of those whose bodies he helped lift from the
battlefield. "Their lives are a part of me. They are in my
memory. They won't go away," said Aurich.
Read the whole newsletter
(Adobe Reader format (2Mb) with articles about their return
You may also keep up with C Company, 6-101 AVN REGT -
AMEDD School Shows "DUSTOFF Legacy"
The documentary “When I have your wounded – the DUSTOFF
Legacy” was shown 11 Mar 13 at the AMEDD Center and School’s
Blesse Auditorium. We were honored to have Judge David
McNabb, father of SSG Shawn McNabb, in attendance. Shawn was
killed in action with the 160th SOAR. Shawn flew with the
57th Medical Company in combat in Iraq. Parts of Shawn’s
interview with Arrowhead Films were featured in the
documentary. It’s always a humbling experience to honor one
of our fallen and to be with Gold Star Parents.
From L to R – 1SGT Thompson, Judge David McNabb, Karen Hill,
COL(R) Johnny West and COL(R) Bob Driscoll
AAAA DUSTOFF Medic of the Year
Jose Pantoja, a flight medic from Company C, 3rd
Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation
Brigade, was presented with the 2012 Army Aviation
Association of America DUSTOFF Medic of the Year Award at
the Fort Rucker Senior Leader’s Conference at Fort Rucker,
Ala., Jan. 29. He received the award for his actions during
deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring
During his time in Afghanistan, Pantoja rotated to the most
kinetic, geographically dispersed MEDEVAC sites throughout
Regional Command South. While at the remote locations,
Pantoja’s tactical and technical expertise were employed
rigorously to execute the most dynamic and challenging
One instance that tested Pantoja was a mass casualty mission
on June 7, 2012. The initial call was for three U.S.
soldiers wounded by an improvised explosive device blast.
Upon arriving, Pantoja exited the aircraft and began moving
the patients to the aircraft. While moving patients, he
observed a second IED blast that knocked him off his feet
into the aircraft.
The IED disabled the litter team heading to the aircraft.
Pantoja called for immediate departure to avoid damage to
the aircraft and crew and allow for the ground forces to
secure the landing zone. Without the aerial security of a
scout weapons team, the crew landed again to load the nine
casualties at the landing zone and proceeded to the Combat
Support Hospital in Kandahar.
Old DUSTOFFer Reunites With Younger DUSTOFFer
Scooter Drennon, currently commanding a Combat Support
Hospital, linked up with MAJ Chris Chung, Commander of
C-6-101 while they were in Bagram recently. Chris worked for
Scooter when Scooter was a DUSTOFF Commander. As Scooter
said, "I was his first MEDEVAC Commander and he still turned
out great in spite of that!!"
Read the whole newsletter (Adobe Reader format (2Mb)
with a nice mention of CW3 Adam Stratton being selected by
the DUSTOFF Association as the DUSTOFF Association's Aviator
Of the Year.
You may also keep up with C Company, 6-101 AVN REGT -