Checking the Rotors
U.S. Army Sgt. Ron Scheuren, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief for Company B, 3rd "Spearhead" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, watches the rotors of the aircraft as it begins to start up to ensure there are no malfunctions before he heads out on a mission from Camp Taji, Iraq, May 19, 2007.

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, May 29, 2007 - Sgt. Ron Scheuren gets to fly nearly every day at work, but this 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division soldier isn't Superman.

A native of Cisco, Texas, Scheuren flies over Baghdad almost every day as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief for Company B, 3rd "Spearhead" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment.

As a crew chief, he's responsible for the passengers' and aircraft's protection while flying. He's also responsible for maintaining the Black Hawk while it's not in flight, said Scheuren.

"Crew chiefs are not in an office; we're on the flight line all day long. If we're not on the flight line, we're flying. If we're not flying, we're fixing the aircraft," he said.

Before the crew chiefs go out to fly a mission, they first do a pre-flight check of the aircraft to ensure it is functioning properly. Then they load it up with supplies needed for the mission, said Scheuren.In the skies over Baghdad, Scheuren and his aircrew are all business.

After a mission is completed and the flight helmet comes off, Scheuren and his fellow crew chiefs have to perform scheduled maintenance on the aircraft, along with any other issues that might have come up during flight, he said.

This daily routine leaves little time to do much else other than eat and sleep, he said.

"When I get off work, I call my wife, shower, grab something to eat and then it's to bed," he said. "You have a little chill time to read, play games and catch up on the news. Then it's starting all over again.

On a normal day, Scheuren helps fly troops across the battle space so that they can get around quickly and safely, he said.

"Transporting soldiers keeps people off the ground where they're getting hurt. So if you can put them in an aircraft, that just increases their chances of getting from point A to point B," he said.

Recently Scheuren took part in missions supporting the search for three missing 10th Mountain Division soldiers.

"This kind of mission is the one every crew chief wants to do. It's direct support of an on-going mission - there's not a single crew chief who objects to doing this," said Scheuren.

Scheuren is looking forward to going home after the deployment and spending time with his family, and maybe getting in some hunting, he said. But for now, Scheuren is flying high over the skies of Baghdad - making sure his aircraft gets his passengers safely to their final destinations.

"Being a crew chief is a great gig," he said. "It's non-stop, and it's something different everyday."

Page last updated Wed May 30th, 2007 at 09:53