Story by: By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy - National Guard Bureau Dated: Fri, Nov 19, 2010
Capt. Stephen D. Martin, Capt. Cliff Flanagan, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mike Zanghi, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gustavo Grande and Capt. Eric Fritz complete their bi-monthly CH-47D Chinook training in Rochester, Nov. 19. Zanghi and Fritz are assigned to the New York Army National Guard.
ROCHESTER, --A unique partnership between two states allows Kentucky Army National Guard aviators to keep up their skills and support a crucial homeland security mission.
Capt. Cliff Flanagan, Capt. Stephen D. Martin and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gustavo Grande are all qualified in the CH-47D Chinook, though Kentucky currently has none. In order to maintain currency in the tandem-rotor helicopter, they fly with the 1st Detachment, Bravo Co., 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment from the New York National Guard on a bi-monthly basis either traveling to Rochester or having a Chinook travel to Kentucky for training.
The Kentucky aviators work with the New York Guard conducting troop and equipment transport as well as sling load operations, training to remain proficient as well as to build the working relationship between the two states. Their training flights are in support of CCMRF (Chemical Biological Radiological and High-Yield Explosive Consequence Management Response Force) homeland security mission, a part of Joint Task Force Civil Support under U.S. Northern Command.
“This partnership is giving me the opportunity to fly Chinooks again,” said Grande, who along with Martin, is assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment . “I feel I’m very fortunate to be able to train with my fellow aviators in New York and to also do something I enjoy.”
In the event of a large-scale chemical, biological, nuclear or high-yield explosive incident, Kentucky’s 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade has the responsibility of providing command and control of aviation assets in an affected area, while the New York National Guard’s Chinooks will be responsible for providing first line support working directly under the 63rd TAB.
Capt. Stephen D. Martin, Capt. Cliff Flanagan, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mike Zanghi, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gustavo Grande and Capt. Eric Fritz complete their bi-monthly CH-47D Chinook training in Rochester, Ny., Nov. 19. Zanghi and Fritz are assigned to the New York Army National Guard.
“It feels great to accomplish a job working alongside different states in order to keep the country safe,” said Flanagan, who is assigned to the 63rd TAB. “We’re doing everything we can to prepare for an event that we hope never happens.”