Lakota flies first medevac mission in Germany
August 26, 2010
WASHINGTON (Aug. 23, 2010) -- The 121st Medical Company (Air Ambulance) of the District of Columbia National Guard recently became the first unit to perform a medical evacuation mission using the UH-72 Lakota helicopter in Hohenfels, Germany on Aug. 10.
The 121st was the first unit equipped with the MEDEVAC configuration of the Lakota helicopter to deploy overseas when it arrived in Germany last month.
"The mission of the unit during its yearlong deployment is to provide MEDEVAC standby for units training in the region, many of them prior to their deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan," said Lt. Col. Maureen Bellamy, the state Army aviation officer for the D.C. Guard.
The 121st has been working hard since its arrival in Germany, said Maj. Mark Escherich, the unit commander.
"[We have completed] notional MEDEVAC response for units validating for combat operations, 9-Line MEDEVAC training, MEDEVAC litter loading and unloading and helicopter safety for the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and the Georgian military," he said.
The company is covering MEDEVAC operations at both Hohenfels, which is home to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center and Grafenwoehr, which is home to the Joint Multinational Training Center. They are almost two hours apart by car and 20 minutes by helicopter.
Last year, the 121st became the first organization in the nation to receive the UH-72 configured for MEDEVAC missions. The aircraft replaced the UH-1 "Huey," a Vietnam vintage helicopter flown by the 121st, which is stationed at Davison Army Airfield near Fort Belvoir, Va.