JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Approximately 60 Alaska National Guard Soldiers are mobilizing from here to Fort Hood, Texas, March 7. Eight weeks of training will be conducted in preparation for a nine-month deployment in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilots, crew chiefs and support personnel from Alpha Company and the associated detachments of the 1-168th General Support Aviation Battalion will perform flying operations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Operations. At their deployed location, the Alaskan aviators will support the mission of Operation Inherent Resolve, operating in conjunction with partner forces to defeat ISIS and increase regional stability, which has been ongoing since 2014.
Training at Fort Hood will include a combination of pre-mobilization tasks, UH-60 aerial gunnery and flight training, and a maintenance and brigade level validation exercise.
Soldiers will face hardship that goes above and beyond a regular deployment.
“Together we face the challenges of COVID and an ever-changing training environment for an equally dynamic deployment environment,” said Capt. Melissa Eury, A Company commander.
Upon arrival to Fort Hood, Soldiers will be reunited with four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters which were delivered ahead of the personnel. Additionally, the unit is bringing aviation support equipment and parts, and heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks used for fueling.
“The Soldiers of Alpha Company have completed all of the pre-mobilization training in preparation of their onward movement,” said Lt. Col. Todd Miller, 207th Aviation commander, “they have made sacrifices but have remained dedicated to being fully prepared for this mission.”