1/3 AVN, 3/17 CAV combine for Helicopter Crash Drill
January 26, 2012
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade joined the Hunter Army Airfield Fire Department, Police Department and Emergency Medical Services to participate in a helicopter crash response Jan. 11 at the Compass Rose.
The exercise was part of an Army-wide, annual requirement to activate and test battalion pre-accident plans, said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael L. Balke, the brigade safety officer.
Participants simulated a crash between an AH-64D "Apache" helicopter from 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, and an OH-58D "Kiowa" helicopter from the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. Engines off and propellers still, the pilots relayed the distress call, and within minutes fire engines and other emergency vehicles arrived at the site. Clad in silver protective suits, the emergency personnel treated the pilots' "wounds" and took measures to contain the "fire."
I felt the training went really well," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Blake, who was on site to oversee the training.
"Our only ambulance was out on an actual emergency call and we had to bring in an ambulance from off-post, which is exactly how it's supposed to work. It's good to know that even with that wren thrown in, the system works," he said.Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bob Roebuck and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bill Lincoln, aviation safety officers for the 1/3 Avn. and 3/17 Cav., respectively, coordinated and initiated the pre-accident plans.
Working together and scheduling the exercise for both battalions simultaneously was a great way to build teamwork and efficiently use the units' resources, said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Blake.
The units will continue to train in increasingly difficult scenarios involving operational engines and propellers, he said.