More than 250 New York Army National Guard Soldiers from the 642d Aviation Support Battalion Rear Detachment are participating in annual training at Fort Drum this month. The soldiers arrived at Fort Drum this past weekend and their training will continue through the end of July.
The rear detachment is comprised of new soldiers to the battalion or other soldiers who did not deploy with the unit to Kuwait last summer due to training, schooling or other military reasons.
The battalion training will include common soldier tasks, mission essential tasks, individual weapons qualification, aerial gunnery, and aerial medical evacuation training.
The battalion consists of four organic companies, with approximately 160 soldiers and two attached flight companies with about 90 soldiers. These include:
Headquarters and Service Company, 642d ASB, headquartered in Rochester.
Company A, 642d ASB headquartered in Dunkirk.
Company B, 642d ASB headquartered in Ronkonkoma.
Company C, 642d ASB headquartered in FT. Hamilton.
Detachment 1, Com-pany B, 3-126th General Support Aviation Battalion, headquartered in Rochester. The unit operates CH-47 Chinook medium lift helicopters.
Company F, 1-169th GSAB headquartered in Rochester. The unit flies medical evacuation missions.
The organic companies of the 642d ASB's training focus will be on soldier tasks, and individual weapons familiarization and firing.
Some key training events that will be taking place are the individual weapons qualification ranges for the M16 and M9, combat lifesaver course for 50 personnel to get qualified, the improvised explosive service defeat lane, drivers training, engagement skills trainer 2000, and the reconfigurable vehicle tactical trainer for convoy scenario simulations.
Detachment 1, Company B, 3-126th GSAB will conduct a major training event to sharpen their skills with day and night Aerial Gunnery operations. They are also conducting individual weapons qualification and other basic soldier tasks.
Company F, 1-169th GSAB will conduct MEDEVAC training focusing on trauma and cardiac care. They will be partnering with the 2-108th Infantry Battalion's Alpha and Charlie Companies to conduct cross training to include medical evacuations, and integration of non-standard landing zone extractions with the hoist and jungle penetrator.
The soldiers will complete their training and return home by the end of the month. The majority of the battalion is currently deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and is expected to return in the coming month.