Recent Missions

I have not been flying very much recently but the missions that I have flown have been pretty interesting. I flew a "hero" mission and a mission with an Apache. These are different from the usual "battlefield circulation" (read bus driving) missions that I usually fly.

A "hero" mission is a mission to pick up the body of a soldier killed in action and transport the corpse to an air force base for the final trip home. I was on the night standby crew a few days ago when we got word that we were needed for a hero mission. A soldier had been injured by a roadside bomb the day before and had passed away. We launched as the second flight in a formation of two ships to get the body. We landed at the pick-up site and got out of the aircraft to pay proper respects to the body as it was loaded on board the lead helicopter. The crews lined up on either side of the cargo door while the chaplain, his assistant, and 2 soldiers from mortuary affairs carefully loaded the flag-drapped body bag. We stood at attention and saluted in the dark. No one discussed the meaning behind behind the mission very much.

The next day we were tasked with flying as the sister ship to an Apache and carrying several officers on board to a meeting at another base. We flew lead. I had to keep our airspeed down because Apaches cannot keep up with Blackhawks, at least not when they are loaded with rockets, missles, and 30 mm ammo for the cannon. It was cool getting to fly with another type of aircraft. I have attached a photo.