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Minnesota National Guard
American, Kuwaiti aviation work toward partnership

34th CAB CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait- Three Kuwaiti air force crew chiefs visited Camp Buehring on Oct 14, 2014, for a partnership visit with 2/147th Assault Helicopter Battalion to strengthen the interoperability relationship between the US Army and Kuwait air force

"Our goal is to increase the aviation partnership from which we can build cross training and mission training relationships," said 1st Sgt Randall Carter, C Company, 2/147th AHB

Staff Sgt Michael Burling, a cryptologic linguist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2/147th Assault Helicopter Battalion, along with Sgt Jesus Garbiso and Sgt David Newton, crew chiefs with C Company, 2/147th AHB, visited with the three crew chiefs: Wakil Awal Saleh al Enezi, Wakil Awal Rodan al Enezi, and Raqib Awal Ahmed al Sarraf

The crew chiefs are with Kuwaiti air force Search and Rescue Wing

After meeting the crew chiefs, the soldiers brought them to Udairi Airfield where the Kuwaitis and soldiers exchanged similar aviation jargon, such as a "monkey strap" The strap, which attaches to the flight vest, keeps the crew chief secured in the aircraft so he or she is able to safely move around inside

Next, they went to inspect a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter The Kuwaiti crew chiefs had seen a Black Hawk up close before, but today with the soldiers, they discovered the differences in how they slingload

"Ours is much bigger," said Rodan as he gestured with his arms spread apart when referring to the opening of the slingload hook-up

The Kuwaiti air force often flies a bigger helicopter called a Eurocopter AS-332 Super Puma in search and rescue units It is a smooth ride, like a Mercedes, said Ahmed

A little further down the flight line, F Company, the medevac unit with 2/147th AHB, was performing maintenance checks So before going to see the medevac helicopters, the soldiers introduced the crew chiefs to the game horseshoes to pass the time

After a couple of games, Staff Sgt David W Clarence, a flight medic with F Company, 2/147th AHB, showed the crew chiefs some of the personnel recovery equipment his uses The crew chiefs mostly conduct overwater rescue operations, so they were particularly interested in the hoist, also known as a winch, the Army used, as well as how many patients the medevac could hold

They had a look inside the Black Hawk and medevac aircrafts and shared their training and mission experiences with the soldiers

"The visit was a huge success," said Newton "It was a great experience being able to learn what they do as well"

The visit wrapped up with a trip to the Exchange and the dining facility for lunch At lunch, the crew chiefs were discussing when they could meet again

"We hope to follow up with a crew chief visit," said Carter

October 20, 2014
by Spc Jessica Nemec
34th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

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