Story by: Sgt. 1st Class Steven Petibone - NY National Guard Public Affairs Dated: Thu, Jun 14, 2007
The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation uses a UH-60 Blackhawk to extract a second abandoned vehicle during a GuardHELP community project in the Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve near Ronkonkoma, Long Island
Photo by: SFC Steven Petibone
DEER PARK, LONG ISLAND -- The 3rd battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade located near Ronkonkoma, Long Island, partnered with the local New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to perform a GuardHELP clean-up project in a New York State Park located between Deer Park and Baywood.
The Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve is a small community nature preserve and walking trail that the surrounding towns and citizens want to improve.
The DEC’s goal for the project was to improve and maintain the existing preserve, prevent dumping, and preserve the maximum amount of open space connecting infrastructures around the area.
The 142nd Aviation brought a two-fold solution to the DEC’s initiative of park preservation.
A 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation ground crew Soldier uses hand signals to the crew of the UH-60 Blackhawk air crew to complete the drop-off of the first abandoned vehicle during a GuardHELP community project in the Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve near Ronkonkoma, Long Island
Picture By: SFC Steven Petibone, 42nd CAB PA-NCOIC
First, the 142nd was able to airlift two abandoned vehicles and the remains of a flatbed truck from the underbrush by use of a sling-load and drop them off near the parking area of the preserve for the DEC to dispose of.
Second, using the sling load method, the 142nd airlifted and strategically positioned more than nine 3500-pound Jersey barriers along trails and access points in order to prevent unauthorized motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle access.
This is not the first time that the Ronkonkoma-based aviation unit has partnered with the DEC in a GuardHELP project. In 2003, the aviation unit helped to construct fish habitats in Lake Ronkonkoma by airlifting and dropping massive tree stumps unearthed by the New York Department of Transportation along Interstate 87.