North Carolina Army Guard helicopter crew rescue teen after 50 foot fall
Military units train to effectively execute missions in the future. For a North Carolina Army National Guard LUH-72 Lakota helicopter crew, they had the opportunity to both train and execute a real-world mission in the same day when they lifted a teenage boy to safety after he took an estimated 50-foot fall onto some trees below a ledge in a wooded area here Tuesday.
The crew, assigned to Detachment 1, Company B of the 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation, just happened to be practicing rescue techniques using the helicopter's onboard hoist that day. The training focused on rescuing people in confined spaces using a rope snaked through small openings in the tree tops as well as rescues near sheer rock faces.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mike Young, the aircraft commander, said his crew had done several practice hoists when they received the call to help with the rescue.
"It was just a normal mission," Young said. "We've been training for this…. We showed up, and because we've been training as frequently as we have been, it was just a standard mission. You just do what you're trained to do."
On board the aircraft to assist with the rescue were two Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team members, who were lowered to where the teen was stranded. Army Sgt. Jerry Gilliam directed the helicopter pilots as the technicians and the teen were raised to the aircraft and then taken to a nearby landing site.
"I was just thinking about our training," Gilliam said. "The training kicks in and you just make sure everybody's safe."
"It's a great feeling, said Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Clayton Horney, a pilot. "It's directly in line with every one of the trainings we've done. In some respects, it's somewhat anticlimactic to the crew."
Young said the boy did not appear to be badly injured and was able to walk away from the aircraft after the crew hoisted him to safety.
The crew picked right back up with operational training Wednesday.
Article by North Carolina National Guard