A UH-60 Black Hawk from Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment (Air Ambulance) is loaded with mail and supplies for a remote outpost after dropping a patient off at a medical facility in Shindand, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Gaurd photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Roger Merrell)
The 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) is an Army National Guard Brigade that supports the 34th Infantry Division and the State of Minnesota by providing aviation assets for both federal and state active duty missions. The aviators of the 34th CAB fly the UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The 34th CAB Headquarters is stationed in St. Paul.
In May, the brigade provided CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters and personnel to local government agencies to fight and contain three wildfires in northwest Minnesota. In 2013, the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed home the St. Cloud-based Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment from a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where they conducted more than 650 medical evacuation missions and flew 1,700 accident-free flight hours. The company also received six new CH-47F Chinook helicopters and trained more than 30 personnel in their operation.
In June, the brigade participated in a full-spectrum Warfighter Exercise with the 40th Infantry Division at Fort Leavenworth. During this exercise, the brigade staff was able to successfully integrate with different levels of command and adjacent units.
The brigade is preparing to mobilize its headquarters and 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion to Kuwait in 2014. In addition to preparing for deployment, the brigade will also continue equipment enhancements and Soldier readiness training. The 34th Combat Aviation Brigade continues preparation to assist civil authorities during state missions that include fire suppression, flood response and search and rescue. The brigade will host the Minnesota National Guard's 2014 observance of African American History month.