National Guard prepares for deployment

From left, Sgts. Troy England and Zach Sharpe of the Michigan Army National Guard and Staff Sgt. Ethan Major of the New Hampshire Army National Guard, all of the 238th Medevac Company, carry a notional patient in a Concord exercise June 19. The 238th, based in New Hampshire, conducted two weeks of training with its sister detachments from Michigan and Ohio in preparation for its deployment later this month to the Middle East.

CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu, commander in chief of the New Hampshire National Guard, will host a deployment ceremony for the 238th Medevac Company on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Army Aviation Flight Facility on Regional Drive.

The event begins at 10 a.m. It is open to the public.

The New Hampshire Army National Guard Blackhawk unit, which includes 150 aviators, crew members and support personnel from New Hampshire as well as sister detachments from Ohio and Michigan, will report to Fort Hood, Texas, later this month for pre-deployment training before departing overseas to support various operations in the Middle East.

“Our aviators and crews are among the most experienced and best trained pilots and medical personnel in the United States military,” said New Hampshire Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities. “Over the course of the last two decades our medevac company has deployed four times and been responsible for transporting countless injured from the battlefield. At home, they have played a vital, life-saving role in support of search and rescue missions as well as fighting forest fires.”

The experience varies among soldiers in the 238th. For some, this mission will mark their fifth or sixth deployment. For just over half the soldiers in the unit, this will be their first time overseas. Earlier this summer, the 238th, including its sister detachments, conducted two weeks of intensive training in Concord in preparation for the deployment.

Since 9/11, the New Hampshire National Guard’s medevac component has been one of the state’s most deployed military assets, accounting for multiple combat and humanitarian tours in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Sunday, October 20, 2019