• Sgt. Amanda Mosher, a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), stocks a trauma bag with medical supplies at Fort Campbell, Ky., Aug 28 in preparation for a short-notice deployment in support of Hurricane Isaac relief.  Medevac crews are trained and equipped to respond at any moment to protect civilians during natural disasters. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs/RELEASED)

    Eagle Dustoff stands ready to serve

    Sgt. Amanda Mosher, a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), stocks a trauma bag with medical supplies at Fort Campbell, Ky., Aug 28 in preparation for a short-notice deployment in support of Hurricane...

  • Sgt. Mary Shannon McCay, a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), grabs handfuls of medical supplies with which to stock the Medevac's trauma bags Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell before deploying to Louisiana for hurricane relief. The Medevac crews are staged and ready at a moment's notice to provide medical care to victims of Hurricane Isaac. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs/RELEASED)

    Eagle Dustoff stands ready to serve

    Sgt. Mary Shannon McCay, a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), grabs handfuls of medical supplies with which to stock the Medevac's trauma bags Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell before deploying to Louisiana for...

  • Spc. Ashley Keen, a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), packs an oxygen and airway management bag Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell, Ky., before deploying to provide relief to hurricane victims in Louisiana. Army Medevac crews are trained and equipped to respond at any moment to protect lives and property during Hurricane Isaac. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs/RELEASED)

    Eagle Dustoff stands ready to serve

    Spc. Ashley Keen, a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), packs an oxygen and airway management bag Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell, Ky., before deploying to provide relief to hurricane victims in Louisiana. Army...

  • Staff Sgt. Mark Dickey, the air ambulance NCO for 1st Platoon, Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, checks the contents of an oxygen and airway management bag Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell, Ky., in preparation for hurricane relief deployment. The Medevac crews deployed on short notice and are already staged and ready to provide medical care to hurricane victims. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs/RELEASED)

    Eagle Dustoff stands ready to serve

    Staff Sgt. Mark Dickey, the air ambulance NCO for 1st Platoon, Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, checks the contents of an oxygen and airway management bag Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell, Ky., in preparation for hurricane relief deployment...

  • Staff Sgt. Michael Manwaring (left), a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter section sergeant with Company B, 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, and Pfc. Alex Allen, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter repairer with Co. B, 563rd ASB, check a UH-60A Medevac helicopter for proper maintenance Aug. 28 at Fort Campbell, Ky. All aircraft were inspected before Medevac crews with Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, were deployed to provide humanitarian assistance during Hurricane Isaac. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs/RELEASED)

    Eagle Dustoff stands ready to serve

    Staff Sgt. Michael Manwaring (left), a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter section sergeant with Company B, 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, and Pfc. Alex Allen, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter repairer with Co. B, 563rd ASB, check a UH-60A Medevac helicopter for...

The four aircraft formed a perfect line, then parted ways and danced delicately into individual parking places Saturday at Fort Campbell, Ky. The trip was over, and the Medevac crews were ready to begin what was left of their 4-day weekend.

Within only hours of notification, eight crews of Eagle Dustoff (Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade) traveled to Fort Rucker, Ala., Thursday. They were staged for potential search-and-rescue missions, ready to assist at a moment's notice. With the National Guard and the other government agencies in place, the Medevac crews were not needed and returned home.

Response time can mean the difference between life and death, and the Army excels at rehearsing for all kinds of emergencies.

Sgt. Josh Stewart, now a flight medic with Eagle Dustoff, responded to victims of natural disasters as an emergency medical technician with the Louisville, Ky., Fire Department before he joined the Army. He said combat rescue rehearsals are good preparation for natural disasters.

"Natural disaster rescue has some of the same chaos as combat (rescue), but the threat level is not as high," he said. Natural disaster rescue is more methodical in its approach to the scenario than combat rescue is. It's, for the lack of a better word, structured chaos, rather than utter chaos."

Brother Joe Carrico now a retired minister in Russellville, Ky., who has responded to many a disaster relief himself, also knows that post-disaster chaos and the importance of restoring order rapidly.

In 1976, he received a distress call from another minister in a nearby town. He said he needed quick and powerful assistance, so he made a call to Fort Campbell, and within six hours of his request, Soldiers of the 7th Bn., 101st Avn. Rgt., arrived with helicopters full of food, water, clothes and necessary medical supplies.

"They didn't fool around," Carrico said. "Their response was so swift, I just couldn't believe it. It was like they had everything in order before they left."

Carrico said that to the community, the speedy response meant as much as the 12 days the Soldiers dedicated to flying in provisions and getting townspeople to medical facilities when required.

"They didn't stop -- they just kept flying and flying," Carrico said.

Working alongside other agencies, the Soldiers of the 159th CAB -- both past and present -- serve unselfishly, knowing their countrymen rely on them as servants of the people.

"(Our job is) to help the public out, give them that ray of hope that may not be there, assist the local agencies that may be overwhelmed because of this natural disaster," said Staff Sgt. Mark Dickey, the air ambulance NCO for 1st Platoon, Co. C, 7th Bn., 101st Avn. Rgt.. "That's our job -- helping the public at their time of need."

Dickey is not alone in his dedication to selfless service.

"It is important for the Army to keep a pulse on community assistance when it is called upon," said Capt. Robert S. Lee, the 7th Bn., 101st Avn. Rgt. chaplain. "The American public (may) not see the Army as a relief effort responder, but … the Army is able to help assist with these efforts by the fact that it has capabilities and resources to provide support when it is needed to help the American public during times of crisis."

Whether it means supporting an offensive, defensive or humanitarian mission, Soldiers of the 159th CAB stand ready to deploy, defend and serve in a multitude of ways.

Page last updated Thu September 6th, 2012 at 14:45