25th CAB’s DART hones skills during aerial emergency exercise

| August 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Eduardo Oviedo, Co. B, 209th ASB, 25th CAB, 25th ID, ensures that the sling set and bellyband are properly secured prior to the extraction of a damaged OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter during a simulated DART exercise, Aug. 15. (Photos by Sgt. Karl Williams | 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Eduardo Oviedo, Co. B, 209th ASB, 25th CAB, 25th ID, ensures that the sling set and bellyband are properly secured prior to the extraction of a damaged OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter during a simulated DART exercise, Aug. 15. (Photos by Sgt. Karl Williams | 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — At approximately 1 a.m., 10 Downed Aircraft Recovery Team, or DART, Soldiers assembled and were notified that an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter had been notionally shot down by simulated small arms fire, here, Aug. 15.

Capt. Kyle Gaylor, executive officer, Company B, 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, noted the aircrew had quickly been recovered, and an aerial extraction of the OH-58D was required, based on the initial battle damage assessment provided by the crew.

The exercise was part of the brigade’s culminating training event that was conducted at the Joint Readiness Training centers in Fort Polk, La.; Fort Carson, Colorado; and here.

The DART is comprised of 25th CAB Soldiers who hold a variety of military occupation specialties linked to a particular set of tasks required of the team. These MOSs include mechanics, technical inspectors, electricians and airframe specialists.

The job of 25th CAB’s DART is to rapidly respond throughout the battle space with the necessary assets to recover and evacuate downed aircraft to the nearest maintenance facility, according to Gaylor.

After conducting pre-combat checks and inspections on all personnel and equipment, and then executing a thorough mission briefing, the DART boarded a CH-47F Chinook helicopter from Co. B, 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regiment, 25th CAB, to recover the downed Kiowa Warrior.

At the accident site, Soldiers from the team immediately established security and communications, as team members began assessing the damage and rigging the bellyband and 25,000-pound-capacity sling set, prior to the aerial extraction of the Kiowa Warrior.

A CH-47F Chinook crew from Co. B, 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regt., 25th CAB, 25th ID, slowly lowers a damaged OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter to the ground during a simulated DART exercise, recently.

A CH-47F Chinook crew from Co. B, 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regt., 25th CAB, 25th ID, slowly lowers a damaged OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter to the ground during a simulated DART exercise, recently.

Approximately 30 minutes later, the simulated, damaged Kiowa Warrior was secured, and the DART Soldiers and aircraft were ready to be extracted.

“Today’s objective was meant to be a learning experience to meritoriously respond after we received a ‘Fallen Angel’ report, while ensuring everyone gets some hands-on training,” said Staff Sgt. Eduardo Oviedo, DART noncommissioned officer in charge, Co. B, 209th ASB.

“It’s always better to think of the worst-case scenario,” Oviedo said, to the DART Soldiers after they completed the training event. “An initial report can’t tell you everything. You have to take it upon yourselves to think outside the box and be prepared for the worst if an aircraft goes down.”

 

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Category: Exercises, News

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