• A CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, flies over Houston on its way to Ellington Field, Texas, for a re-supply mission in support of the Hurricane Ike relief efforts, Sept. 16.

    A CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 2nd Battalion...

    A CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, flies over Houston on its way to Ellington Field, Texas, for a re-supply mission in support of the Hurricane Ike relief efforts...

  • Spc. Trinity Cline, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter flight engineer for 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, walks away from his aircraft as he waits for a re-supply mission at an air field in Lufkin, Texas, Sept. 16. The 2-227th "Lobos" have flown food and water to those in need in the areas struck by Hurricane Ike.

    Spc. Trinity Cline, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter...

    Spc. Trinity Cline, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter flight engineer for 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, walks away from his aircraft as he waits for a re-supply mission at an air field in Lufkin, Texas...

  • Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, fly Gen. Victor Renuart Jr., the commanding general of U.S. Northern Command, and his staff over Galveston, Texas and the surrounding areas during an aerial assessment of the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Ike, Sept. 15.

    Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from 2nd...

    Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, fly Gen. Victor Renuart Jr., the commanding general of U.S. Northern Command, and his staff over Galveston, Texas and the...

  • This scene is just one of many seen while flying over Galveston, Texas and the surrounding areas affected by Hurricane Ike. This particular flight, flown by 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was in support of Gen. Victor Renuart Jr., the commanding general of U.S. Northern Command and his staff's damage assessment of the areas of Texas most affected by the hurricane.

    This scene is just one of many seen while...

    This scene is just one of many seen while flying over Galveston, Texas and the surrounding areas affected by Hurricane Ike. This particular flight, flown by 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was in...

  • General Victor Renuart Jr. (left), the commanding general of U.S. Northern Command, talks with Col. Douglas Gabram (right), the commander of 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, before flying on a mission out of Ellington Field, Houston, Sept. 15. Gabram's UH-60 Black Hawks would take Renuart and his staff on an aerial survey of the destruction area caused by Hurricane Ike.

    General Victor Renuart Jr. (left), the...

    General Victor Renuart Jr. (left), the commanding general of U.S. Northern Command, talks with Col. Douglas Gabram (right), the commander of 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, before flying on a mission out of Ellington Field, Houston...

  • Sgt. Timothy Vasdine, a UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief for Company A, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stands ready for a mission to fly Gen. Victor Renuart Jr., commanding general of U.S. Northern Command, and his staff. The Lobos lifted off from Ellington Field, Houston, Sept. 15, giving Renuart an aerial view of the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

    Sgt. Timothy Vasdine, a UH-60 Black Hawk crew...

    Sgt. Timothy Vasdine, a UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief for Company A, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stands ready for a mission to fly Gen. Victor Renuart Jr., commanding general of U.S. Northern...

  • While Hurricane Ike looms on the screen in the background, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dan Wallace, a liaison officer for 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, works details of a mission at the Air Coordination Group, Camp Mabry, Texas, Sept. 12. The ACG is where all air assets and other agencies work to coordinate aviation relief missions. Wallace, who hails from Huntsville, Ala., is in charge of active army rotary-winged missions.

    While Hurricane Ike looms on the screen in the...

    While Hurricane Ike looms on the screen in the background, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dan Wallace, a liaison officer for 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, works details of a mission at the Air Coordination Group, Camp Mabry, Texas, Sept. 12...

HOUSTON, Texas - When a natural disaster strikes the United States, it's the job of the fearless National Guard units to help bring back normalcy to those affected.

But when hurricanes of great magnitude hit, the U.S. government sometimes calls upon other units such as the 1st Air Cavalry "Warrior" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.

And one unit from the Warriors in particular has had a history of providing relief to those in desperate need.

They're none other than the 2nd "Lobo" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div.

The Lobos have not only provided relief to victims of hurricanes Rita and Katrina, but have also flow halfway around the world to the mountains of Pakistan to help those affected by a massive earthquake ... twice!

All of this while maintaining deployments in support of the war on terror.

It's easy to see that the Lobos are veterans of disaster relief and more.

When Hurricane Gustav threatened the coastline of Louisiana, 2-227th was immediately put on a 24-hour recall - ready to jump at a moments notice to help the battered shores, said Lt. Col. Ralph Litscher, commander of the Lobos.

As Hurricane Ike made its way towards the Gulf of Mexico, the state of Texas called upon the Lobos to fly a reconnaissance mission over the projected area of destruction, said Litscher, a native of Half Moon Bay, Calif.

They took officials over the coastline and the surrounding areas as well as different hospitals and assisted living centers to ensure that there were quick and easy routes of evacuation, he said.

Now that Ike has passed, the recovery effort begins.

And so the Lobos are on call for whatever mission comes up, said Litscher.

"We keep a portion of the battalion ... on a 24-hour recall so we can launch aircraft as required in support of the (U.S. Northern Command) commander and his homeland security mission," he said.

Part of that mission is providing command and control Black Hawk helicopters for a sort of battlefield assessment. They'll go out and look at those areas most affected by the hurricane.

The Lobos have already flown Gen. Victor Renuart Jr., the NORTHCOM commanding general, and his staff over the disaster area; giving a bird's eye view of the destruction.

They've also flown government officials such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency across the hurricane devastated coast.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jerry Stafford, the standardization pilot for Company A, 2-227th, said that it "feels good" helping out in the relief efforts.

Stafford was one of the pilots who flew the general officers and staff over the coastal areas.

"Our bags are packed and ready for night or day missions. There isn't any mission we're not capable of doing," he said.

Along with keeping the relief effort moving with transportation and survey flights, the Lobos are also on call for search and rescue, medical evacuation and re-supply operations, said Col. Douglas Gabram, commander of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.

The Lobos have already provided re-supply of water and food using their CH-47F Chinook helicopters, he said.

The twin-rotor helos fly in and out of Ellington Field, Houston and the surrounding areas, jumping from mission to mission.

Keeping all of these missions in order is Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dan Wallace, the liaison officer for 1st ACB and active duty rotary wing to the Texas joint operations centers.

Wallace works at the Air Coordination Group at Camp Mabry, Texas, to ensure the flow of missions and requests are properly addressed and tasked to the Lobos.

"I'm working with all the government agencies to try to coordinate air operations over the post-strike area," said the Huntsville, Ala., native.

To give an idea of the combined effort to bring the disaster area back to its feet, here is a small list of agencies Wallace is coordinating with: FEMA, Federal Aviation Agency, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and more.

Still, the Lobos get the job done.

What's more amazing is that although the 1st ACB is providing support to the relief efforts, the rest of the brigade is not just sitting around, said Gabram, a Cleveland, Ohio, native.

"We have a task force of 22 helicopters currently training at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.," he said.

And that's not all. The ACB also has an attack helicopter battalion working air/ground integration training with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div., at Fort Hood, Texas, said Gabram.

While not deployed to help combat terror, 1st ACB and its subordinate units are constantly training so that they are ready on a moment's notice to answer the call of its country - war or weather.

And it doesn't matter if it's Pakistan or their home state of Texas; the Lobos are ready to help those affected by disaster and destruction.

Page last updated Thu September 18th, 2008 at 17:46