CONCORD — In preparation for a fall deployment to the Middle East, the New Hampshire Army National Guard’s 238th Medevac Company is conducting in Concord two weeks of training, which was scheduled to begin this past Monday.
The NHARNG’s sister detachments from Michigan and Ohio are also participating in this training.
The public can expect an increase in air traffic in the greater Concord area as well as the Lakes Region this week and next.
More than 100 Army National Guard aviators, crewmen and support personnel from the three states will integrate resources and training, which will focus on the transport and medical care of injured personnel.
A total of 13 aircraft, all HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, will be in operation rehearsing day and nighttime medevac scenarios.
The HH-60M is the U.S. Army’s newest and most advanced medical evacuation helicopter.
It features a more powerful engine than the previous model and nose-mounted thermal imaging for search and rescues. An advanced digital avionics suite, which includes a fully coupled auto pilot, allows for improved — and safer — maneuverability, especially in degraded weather.
Its medical interior includes a litter system capable of handling up to six patients and an integrated oxygen generation system for onboard patient care.
Since 9/11, the New Hampshire National Guard’s medevac component has been one of the state’s most deployed military assets around the globe, accounting for multiple combat and humanitarian tours in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
At home, the team plays a vital, life-saving role in search and rescue missions and forest fires.
“They have saved countless lives, whether on the battlefield or in the White Mountains,” said Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities, New Hampshire’s Adjutant General.
“Our aviators and crews are among the most experienced and best trained pilots and medical personnel in the United States military. When an injured soldier or lost hiker sees that red cross emblazoned on the side of an approaching helicopter, they know they’re going to be OK.”