CINCU, Romania – Fourteen Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, “Eagle Assault,” rotated through here from Dec. 8-18 in support of a mission ready exercise being conducted by the 634th Force Protection Battalion, who are preparing to deploy in support of NATO operations in Afghanistan.In spite of numerous challenges—ranging from weather restrictions preventing the use of helicopters to the simple barriers in language—U.S. and Romanian forces came together for an effective training event.Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carson Cornell, HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter Pilot, 5-101, of Martinez, Ca. played a major role in the success of those joint efforts.Quick to talk about what Romanian or fellow U.S. Soldiers did to make the mission a success, Cornell is humble, and his focus on attention to detail is something he would much rather discuss than talk about himself. However, when asked about his job as a pilot, his passion is obvious.“Everyone loves aviation. From kids to grown-up men and women, people stop what they're doing and take a look at aircraft when they are flying over—especially rotary-wing. The best part is just being able to fly.” said Cornell. “[In] all of human history, we have stared skyward and wished we could leave the ground. So, every single time I am in the helicopter and getting ready to takeoff, it's amazing.”In spite of the fact he wasn't able to fly this week, Cornell said the experience was still worthwhile.“We go through so many repetitions of training, or actual scenarios, like this. Whether it's Iraq or Afghanistan, or even back at Fort Campbell, we have established what we feel are best standard operating procedures. Here, we got to share that with our Romanian counterparts,” said Cornell. “It's very rewarding.”The mission was a win-win for both American and Romanian forces. The U.S. Army was able to increase lethality and survivability in support of Atlantic Resolve and NATO allies while enhancing the ability to work with Romanians. By executing these actions, the Romanian forces were in-turn more prepared for their upcoming mission to Asia.“He brings a lot of experience to the table,” said Maj. Kellan S. Travis, Executive Officer, Task Force Eagle Assault, 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment. “He used creativity and that experience to allow us to adapt to the fact that we didn't have aircraft. Because of that we were still able to bring good instruction for Romanian troops.”Weather was closely monitored throughout the week with the hopes that skies would clear enough to get helicopters from Bulgaria to the training site here. Rather than wait to see if they would get here or not, Cornell and his colleagues figured out ways to still simulate medevac operations and communications using humvees instead of helicopters.“The pilots allowed us to get the most out of a non-ideal situation. We were still able to accomplish 75-85% of what we had hoped because of what the pilots did here,” said Travis.The efforts of Cornell and his teammates did not go unnoticed by Romanian leadership either.“It was great to have their experience. It was great to have them here, working with the training unit and providing the Soldiers with best practices,”said Lt. Col. Alin Gheorghe, Joint National Training Center Deputy Commander for Training. “It's great to have such individuals beside us and we are very thankful for them in providing the most realistic situation possible. It's always a pleasure to work with professionals.”Flying helicopters wasn't Cornell's first job in the Army. It actually took 12 years for him to get to fulfill a dream he held since childhood. After high school, he joined as a Unit Supply Specialist. Before he knew it, through deployments, Ranger school, and multiple other Army training requirements, years had gone by.“I always wanted to be a pilot, from the time I was a little kid,” said Cornell. “After high school I was looking for adventure and knew I wanted to join the military. It's good to get out of your home city or your home state. I was happy to come in as Unit Supply Specialist because it offered the chance to go to Airborne school or Air Assault right out of Advanced Individual Training.”Cornell thinks he has the best job in the Army. The things that add pressure to his tasks also make it that much more exhilarating.“People are trusting us so they can get their job done. Whether it's providing medevac support, moving equipment, or providing attack support, we help the rest of the Army accomplish their mission,” said Cornell. “We put everybody, and their equipment where they need to be all over the entire battle field. Coming up in the Army there were so many times that I was on the back of a helicopter. Now, up front, you realize people are getting on and trusting you with their lives.”From training being impacted by bad weather and global health concerns to long periods of time away from family, Cornell seems to thrive in challenging situations. In fact, he uses these trials as opportunities not only for personal growth, but for making those around him better as well.“We sacrifice for long periods. These nine-month rotations or schools and training back home are tough. You need resistance in your life. You have to be fine with discomfort, it’s good for us and actually makes us stronger. You turn these hardships into new experiences,” he said.Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carson Cornell, embraces what life in general, and the Army in particular, have to offer. His ability to push through and get done what has to be done, regardless of the situation, played a major role in accomplishing the mission here over the past two weeks.