2012 Old Front Page News
Veterans Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line - a resource provided by the
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a confidential
hotline, online chat, and text service for veterans and
their families and friends who are in crisis and need
immediate support. This service is free and always
available. Veterans and their loved ones, including
families, caregivers, friends and neighbors, can call
800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at
VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255 to
connect with the support they've earned.
Herb Coley DUSTOFF Farewell
Herb Coley (retired MSC COL and current Chief of Staff of
the US Army Medical Command) was surprised by the DUSTOFF
Association President and about 22 other DUSTOFFers. We
honored him with a fond farewell and thanks for his 40+
years of service with a DUSTOFF Certificate of Appreciation
and a Charles Kelly Hall of Fame Coin.
Cake by Analou
Johnny West presents Herb with DUSTOFF Certificate
DUSTOFFers honor Herb Coley upon his retirement
Two New Items Added To the Store
Two new T-shirts have recently been added to the DUSTOFF
Store shelves. Now's the time to order yours so you can
"strut your stuff" at the next reunion in April 2013.
Check out these new T-shirts and all the other great
DUSTOFF and air ambulance paraphernalia by going to the
DUSTOFF - For the Ride Of Your Life
Louder You Scream - The Faster We Come
Fall/Winter DUSTOFFer Newsletter
Fall/Winter DUSTOFFer newsletter has been published and in
available in Adobe Reader format (PDF) back in the
of this site.
The newsletter is an important avenue for keeping our
members informed about issues relevant to the air ambulance
community. We're always looking for stories about DUSTOFF,
MAST missions or outstanding rescue missions. So please
check the section in the newsletter that tells you how to
submit a story or article.
And if you see Jim Truscott or Suzie Gower, give them a
big kiss or pat on the back...depending on your gender...
for doing a great job!!
The Surgeon General And the DUSTOFF Legacy
Lt. Gen. Horoho meets with Mr. Dan Gower, Executive
Director of the Dustoff Association in the Pentagon
on Friday Nov. 9, 2012. The TSG was then heard to
say, "Who the hell selects your ties??!!!"
Lt. Gen. Horoho thanks Mr. Patrick Fries, Producer
and Director of the Dustoff documentary during the
premier held in the Pentagon on Friday Nov. 9, 2012.
CCo. F, 1-169th GSAB (Air Ambulance) Training
Hawk helicopter crew members of Company F, 1-169th General
Support Aviation Battalion (Air Ambulance), an Army National
Guard unit with soldiers from Missouri, New York, New
Hampshire and Pennsylvania, prepare to medically evacuate a
simulated casualty from the Army Reserve's 311th
Expeditionary Sustainment Command out of Los Angeles during
training conducted by Division West's 479th Field Artillery
and 166th Aviation Brigades at Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 2. The
Reserve and National Guard units are training with Division
West before deploying to Afghanistan. [Read
Det 1 Co. C 1/169th AVN
Family Readiness Group
Needs your help!
C (Medevac unit based out of Smyrna, TN) is
currently deployed to Afghanistan. They are due home in a
few short months.
Like so many others who are deployed, they have spent their
time working extremely hard on treating soldiers in the
field as well as performing medical evacuations for not only
American soldiers but soldiers from all countries in the war
zone with not even so much as a break or a leave.
The Family Readiness Group is a commander's group designed
to help support families while their soldier is deployed.
have leaned on each other all year and now their focus is
bringing the soldiers home safe and sound!
They are currently working to raise enough funds so they can
afford to welcome them home with a unit party that they (and
their spouses) so fully deserve. Please help turn their
dream into a reality. Any size donation would mean the world
- they would appreciate your help so much.
Click HERE to make a donation.
Welcome Home 4th Platoon, C-1-214th
When C-1-214th Aviation Regiment returned home in Jul 11
from their year in Afghanistan, they left behind in theater
their Fourth Platoon. Those DUSTOFF Warriors did not get a
welcome home handshake and DUSTOFF Coin upon their return to
Landstuhl Heliport in Dec 11. So, when the opportunity
happened that Johnny West, President of the Association, was
to be in Germany on TDY, the welcome home happened. While
smaller in numbers due to PCSs, etc., the welcome home did
happen as Johnny presented DUSTOFF Association Coins and
Proud DUSTOFF Wife Coins to members of the platoon and the
FRG leadership. Welcome Home DUSTOFF Warriors of 4th
Platoon, C-1-214th Avn Regmt and thank you for your selfless
service saving lives.
F Co, 5-159 GS Avn Bn (Devil Ray DUSTOFF)Homecoming
Ben Knisely was on hand for the return of the first
Reserve component MEDEVAC unit to deploy as an F Co. of a
General Support Avn Brigade. They were in combat for 9
months with all members returning safely. The unit is based
at St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport. The unit received DA
recognition for an amazing 96% aircraft availability for the
entire period of support.
Ben Knisely presenting Hall of Fame coins to unit
CDR, MAJ Davis and 1SG Gomez.
Ben presenting Wives coin to rear support group,
Kelly Wigley and Laura Frechette (not in picture was
Ben passed out coins to 118 members of the unit
DUSTOFF Welcome Home C-3-82 Fort Bragg
Dan Gower and Bob Mitchell traveled to Fort Bragg to
welcome home C-3-82 - (Legacy 54th) on 26 Sep 12. Lots of
great DUSTOFF Warriors recently home from a year saving
lives in Afghanistan. Renewed some friendships from years
past welcoming them home. Also, members of one of our Rescue
of Year crews were there returning from yet another tour
SFC Weidle MAJ Bundy Dan CPT Wiese Difference Makers
Dan talks about Proud Wife Coin
CPT Zach Mitchell welcomed home - Bob Mithell's son
SSG McGrath coined by Mitchell
CW3 Phipps coined by Dan
CW2 Doby coined by Dan
CPT Ciaramintaro coined by Dan
CPT Weise enjoys some lively banter
SGT Glorfield previous ROY Crew coined
Bob Mitchell and Granddaughter at dinner
Eagle Dustoff Ready to Serve
only hours of notification, eight crews of Eagle Dustoff
(Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th
Combat Aviation Brigade) traveled to Fort Rucker, AL to
prepare for hurricane Isaac. They were staged for potential
search-and-rescue missions, ready to assist at a moment's
notice. With the National Guard and the other government
agencies in place, the Medevac crews were not needed and
Texas Aviators Prepare for Deployment
The families and loved ones of C Company, 2-149th General
Support Aviation Battalion bid farewell to their soldiers
with a ceremony and Yellow Ribbon event at the Rio Cibolo
Ranch in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 8, 2012. The "Alamo
Dustoff" outfit, augmented by Oklahoma Army aviators, will
provide medical evacuation services in support of Operation
Huey Parts Needed
From member Bruce D'Agostino....
Can you help me network with anybody who has any Huey parts, maybe
just sitting around in their garage or on display. That's how I
found the M-60 gun mount and all the accessories and an electric
Huey cargo hook.
The group, American Huey 369 is a 501 (c) 3 tax deductible flying
and display museum, located in Peru, IA. Founded by a Marine Capt.
Huey pilot and his brother, Johnnie and Alan Walker. We are looking
for any Huey or parts, especially a Huey that is not flying. One
that is owned by an individual or VFW or Legion or anyone or group
or city, not on loan from the government.
We can also parts swap their serviceable parts, even rotor blades,
for display parts.
The group that I joined and have been supporting for several
years has gone from restoring one, now flying, "Dust Off" Med-Evac
Huey 369 to rebuilding and flying Huey 803. My friend of 50+ years
John Inferrere was crew chief on 803. We supplied the M60 gun mount
and all M-60 accessories as well as an electric cargo hook for it. I
am parts and Huey scrounging anywhere I can. Even small parts up to
a Huey are desirable and a Tax Deductible donation.
"Got contacts?" with any Warrant Officers or Crew chiefs or law
Enforcement who might have or know of any parts just on display, at
home or in some hangar, even civilian? American Huey 369 is
currently rebuilding a "Nam Huey Gun Ship". I took a NOE fight
through the groups of trees yesterday on Dust Off Huey 369 and it
felt like old times. When you join American Huey 369 as a member,
you get a free Huey flight at their scheduled events. Most of the
crews are Nam Vets and a great bunch that we spent last weekend with
at the Kokomo, IA Vietnam Vets 30th reunion. Sgt. Sammy Davis, Medal
of Honor recipient, invited us and American Huey 69 & 803 were
flying members all around the reunion of about 5,000 Nam Vets.
American Huey 369 Web site:
Finding 'Lost' Crewmembers
We need your help. We
have a number of 'lost' members. If you have any information about any of these
crewmembers, please go to the
Lost Crewmember page, fill in the form at the
bottom of the page and submit it to us.
Long Overdue Silver Star Awarded Vietnam DUSTOFFer
C. Warwick of Cambridge, Nebraska will be presented with the
Silver Star on 9 September 2012. He was a SP4 and MEDEVAC
crew chief for the 45th Med Co (AA) in Vietnam and was
awarded this Silver Star for action on 3 March 1968. He has
never received the award.
The Nebraska Army National Guard is presenting the award
in an Armory in McCook, Nebraska. There will be a MEDEVAC
crew from the Nebraska National Guard attending as well. The
State Aviation Officer is looking into landing a UH-60A
MEDEVAC aircraft at the McCook armory as a static display.
More information will follow as plans are firmed up. If you
are within driving distance, please try to attend,
especially if you were a member of the 45th Med Co during
the Vietnam War.
Employment Opportunity for Former Medics
Department of Veterans Affairs has created an
employment opportunity for Former Medics, Corpsmen and AF
Med Techs. We are currently conducting a pilot program at 15
VA Medical Centers across the country to hire Veterans who
held medical Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and
desire to continue working in a medical environment. Our
recruitment program went live yesterday. This program is
designed to maximize the skills, knowledge and experience
our medics/corpsmen have obtained and used in the military.
Sometimes these qualifications do not easily equate to the
civilian medical world. In this program we have created a
unique opportunity to use the majority of these skills
under the supervision of a physician in the emergency
department in a VA Medical Center. Vets helping Vets is the
way we like to look at it.
More information can be obtained at the VA For Vets Web site
where applicants can upload or create a resume for
consideration. There are career coaches available who can
assist applicants in “federalizing” their resume, organizing
the data, obtaining required documentation and who can
answer all employment related questions.
If you don't desire help with your resume and already have
one ready to submit you may send it to:
flyer for additional information (PDF document).
Two New Items Added To the DUSTOFF Store
We've added two new items to the DUSTOFF Store.
Visit the DUSTOFF Store
and take at look at the new DUSTOFF hoodie and the new
DUSTOFF sticker that's been added.
Medevac Pilot Wins Gold
Leala McCollum, a medevac pilot with the 121st Medical
Company (Air Ambulance), District of Columbia Army National
Guard, was a member of a team that won the gold medal in the
international category at the NATO Interallied Confederation
of Reserve Officers' Military Skills Competition, held 6 Aug
The CIOR competition consists of a pentathlon with rifle and
pistol marksmanship, land and water obstacle courses and a
10-15 kilometer orienteering course, as well as Combat
Casualty Care, and a written Laws of Armed Conflict test.
Team and individual medals are given for each event as well
Spring/Summer online edition of our DUSTOFFer newsletter has
been posted in the Newsletter section of this site.
A "must read" for anyone who wants to follow what's
happening in the world of Army air ambulances.
[ Read More ]
Combat Mountain Hoist Rescue
SSG Patrick Rogers of Galveston, TX, helps PFC Michael
Halberg of Battle Ground, WA, and SSG Ryan Stumpff of Fort
Bragg, N.C., hook up extraction equipment in Khowst
province, 4 Jul 12. The two 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th
Infantry Division soldiers, from Fort Richardson, Alaska,
were on a narrow ledge above a 50-foot drop while escaping
an enemy ambush. Valkyrie medevac, a dual-state National
Guard unit serving with Task Force Wolfpack, 82nd Combat
Aviation Brigade, rescued the two soldiers with a hoist
attached to their UH-60 medevac Black Hawk.
[ Read More ]
Minnesota National Guard Unit
Family and friends gathered 20 July to send off 53
soldiers of the C Company 2-211th General Support Aviation
Battalion of the Minnesota National Guard. The soldiers are
going to Afghanistan and will be deployed for a year. The
deployment ceremony was at the St. Cloud Army Aviation
Support Facility with about 200 persons attending.
The company is an air ambulance company and will provide
medical evacuation support with its UH-60 Blackhawk
F Company of the 7-158th Avn
15 July 2015, Dan Gower traveled to Colorado Springs,
CO and Fort Carson to visit one of the Army Reserve’s newest
DUSTOFF Unit. Recently converted from a Chinook company, the
new F Company of the 7-158th Avn Regiment is blessed with
brand new UH-60 M model aircraft. They are, however,
scrambling to get spun up on how to execute the DUSTOFF
mission as they deploy sometime in 2013. Along with Dan was
MAJ Sam Fricks and MAJ Jason Davis, both with three combat
tours each and both with one combat tour as a DUSTOFF Unit
commander. The Version 1.0 of the DUSTOFF Legacy Documentary
“When I have your wounded” was also shown (the version shown
at the May 2012 DUSTOFF Reunion). Virtually none of the unit
had heard of the legacy that they now carry forward that
started long ago and embodied in MAJ Kelly’s last words.
Army Air Ambulance Works
Air Force CV-22 Osprey Crash
U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment, 5th Aviation Battalion
crew that responded to the CV-22 accident at Eglin Air Force
Base, Fla. includes from left to right: SGT Ariel
Rodriguezmesa, flight medic, CW2 Erik M. Bratton,
pilot-in-command, CW3 Paul J. Averett, pilot, and SGT Jose'
Read More ]
A Great 33rd
The 33rd DUSTOFF Association reunion is in the books as
being one of the great reunions. Many thanks to all the
that worked so hard to put on this event. If you missed it
tremendous food, spirits, and camaraderie. The premiere
of When I Have Your Wounded – The
DUSTOFF Legacy at the Saturday
night banquet made more than a few DUSTOFFers and spouses
well up with tears. See more about this movie on our
Photos are starting to come in and may be viewed in the
Send us your photos and we'll see about
adding them to the Reunion Photo Gallery.
C-1-171 and C-1-159
NM/AZ/MN NG DUSTOFF
Dan Gower and Steve/Carol Grove traveled to Fort Hood on
23 April to welcome home the 100 DUSTOFF Warriors of C-1-171
and C-1-159 GSAB. These National Guard DUSTOFF Warriors hail
from Arizona, New Mexico and Minnesota National Guard units.
Dan and Pat Fries filmed this unit last year at this time
when they were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and then
filmed them as they took over the mission from C-1-214th
GSAB in June 2011.
While in Afghanistan, the service members provided
medical evacuation support to U.S. Marines, NATO/ISAF
coalition forces and local nationals. C Company evacuated
and provided life-saving aid to more than 1,800 patients by
way of more than 1,400 missions.
CPT "Flipper" Douglas and Dan share a reunion
MW5 SKOOG and Dan catch up after nine months
Carol Grove - a true Soldier's Mom
CW2 Nickolous gets coined
Dan quickly thanks the second group of DUSTOFFers
SPC Ford - of the dynamic Ford Duo
SFC Johnson from Minnesota
CW2 Jeff Paulson gets coined
Carol left no hand unshaken!
For any DUSTOFFer that's every pulled of a combat hoist,
or been lowered on a combat host, this video will bring
tears to your eyes and chills to down your back to realize
how well our "young eagles" are upholding the tradition of
Two DUSTOFFers Inducted into
Quad A Hall of Fame
COL (R) Doug Moore and SP5 "Pappy" Coleman were inducted
into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in ceremonies on 2 April
2012 at the Army Aviation Association of America's Symposium
in Nashville, TN.
Doug Moore, COL Currie, Lizbeth and Keith
AAPI Photo by René Bidez.
(Official AAAA Photographer)
Army Aviation Hall of Famer
James Pappy Coleman
Latest DUSTOFFer Newsletter Available Now
Fall-Winter 2011 DUSTOFFer newsletter has been published and is available
online for your viewing.
As always, the newsletter is first-rate and jam-packed with interesting
articles about past DUSTOFFers as well as those currently serving our
DUSTOFF Crew Earns Air/Sea Rescue
An aviation crew with C Company “Dustoff,” Task Force
Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, recently earned an
Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) National Award
for a mission conducted in June 2011 in Kunar Province,
Afghanistan. The Air/Sea Rescue of the Year Award was
presented to CW2 Erik Sabiston, pilot in command, 25
January, at Fort Rucker, AL.
Members of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry
Division, found themselves stuck in a violent firefight in
the Kunar Province. For a day and a half, Sabiston and his
team provided the ground force with more than just medical
The team conducted more than 10 hoists for the wounded
and fallen heroes.
During the first day, SGT Julia Bringloe, a medic, was
descending on the hoist during a night extraction. The
pilots were flying under dark conditions that made it
extremely difficult to see, even through night vision
goggles. On her descent, the hoist swung her into a tree.
She was unaware at the time that she had broken her leg.
Bringloe, like most medics, care more about the patients on
the ground than their own well-being.
The crew also was faced with the challenge of flying blindly
to perform a rescue.
During another hoist mission, the aircraft was engulfed in
clouds while they were flying at approximately 10,000 feet.
They were unable to see anything to make the rescue, which
made it extremely dangerous.
Bringloe was once more lowered on the hoist to retrieve a
Soldier. Neither the crew nor medic could see one another
when she and the patient were hanging approximately 50 feet
below the aircraft.
The experienced medic told the patient to hold on, since she
knew the pilots would need to gain enough altitude to clear
the cloud ceiling. After Sabiston reached 12,000 feet, they
finally retrieved the medic and the patient.
Air Ambulance Detachment (Cajun
DUSTOFF) Saves Soldier
United States Army Air Ambulance Detachment (Cajun DUSTOFF),
5th Aviation Battalion put their medical evacuation training
to the test, conducting a live hoist medevac mission early
in the morning 21 March 2012.
More than 10 inches of heavy rain struck Fort Polk causing
severe flooding in some areas. A Soldier was attempting to
cross a flooded road in an HMWVV when his vehicle was caught
in the water. The Fort Polk firefighters were dispatched to
the site to find the vehicle more than two-thirds covered,
with water over the hood and bed of the vehicle.
"The fire department called for a hoist, giving us the grid
(location) of the incident. The weather was still dangerous,
but the battalion commander (LTC Christopher Speer) approved
the mission," said SFC Rodney Dippel, the medic.
"We opened the doors and I was lowered onto the truck. The
crewchief and pilot had to be precise in lowering me. If it
was too far to either side (of the vehicle), I would be in
Once Dippel was lowered onto the HMWVV and his cable was
hoisted back up the aircraft, the pilot circled around until
Dippel asked for a pick-up. "The first thing I did was hook
up the patient. He looked very happy to see me since he was
cold and stranded," Dippel said. Dippel then called for the
pilot to return to do the hoist.
The pilot, CW3 Daron Hankins, hoisted Dippel and the Soldier
at the same time. "Once the patient was safely inside the
aircraft we covered him with blankets and turned up the heat
and took him to (Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital),"
The mission posed some difficulty for the USAAAD because of
the weather. "It was the most challenging call I've had in
my career. There was heavy rain and about two miles of
visibility," Hankins said.
AMEDD Regiment Documenting Awards
The Army Medical Department Regiment is working on
documenting all medical personnel who have been awarded the
DSC, SS, DFC, BS"V", ARCOM "V" and the Soldier's Medal for
heroism. If you were awarded any of these medals
kindly send a copy of the citation and the General Order for
them. If you can scan them into a PDF document and e-mail
them, it would be easier.
Fax number is 210-221-8697.
Office phone is 210-221-8455
Mailing address for hard copies is:
Room 104, Building 2840
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
E-mail addresses are either of the following:
Ampula, Robert L Mr CIV USA MEDCOM AMEDDCS: e-mail is
Still, Ronald F Mr CIV USA MEDCOM AMEDDCS: e-mail is
COL Mitchell Visits Afghanistan
COL Robert Mitchell, immediate past president of the
DUSTOFF Association and current Aviation Consultant to the
Army Surgeon General, links up with his son LT Zach
Mitchell, another DUSTOFF Aviator, in Afghanistan recently.
The proud papa with his son is pictured here. COL Mitchell
is in Afghanistan on a visit to all DUSTOFF units supporting
the war in Afghanistan.
Welcome Home C-1-135th NE NG
Dan traveled to Omaha Nebraska to participate in the Yellow
Ribbon Ceremony culminating the re-integration training of Charlie
Company, 1-135, DUSTOFF. Following the Yellow Ribbon Ceremony during
which all deploying National Guardsmen were awarded some nice
mementos from the State of Nebraska, Dan had the opportunity to
speak solo to the unit and welcome them home on behalf of all the
DUSTOFF past and present. He got to present a special HOF coin to
CW4 Caniglia for being "a difference maker" during the deployment.
Mrs. Caniglia was given a Proud DUSTOFF Wife's Coin for her loving
support for her Warrior. Present at the ceremony as a part of the
unit was also SGT Heather Springer, our 2007 DUSTOFF Medic of the
Year - she has since finished college and gotten married to SGT
Wunderlich. It was a great day!
Dan coins CPT Dan Smith, CDR C-1-135
CPT Dan Smith, 1SG Tomas Ortiz, Dan, CPT Jonathan Vavra-Fong
Dan coins SPC Russell Kuhlman
CPT Smith coins Dan, thanking him for his trip to Omaha, NB.
Dan describes the Proud DUSTOFF Wife's Coin and its
Dan presents Mrs. Angie Caniglia with her Proud DUSTOFF
The hug comes with the coin.
CW4 Caniglia was given Mike Novosel HOF Coin for being a
"difference maker" during the deployment. His wife was given
a "Proud DUSTOFF Wife's Coin"
SGT Heather Springer (now SGT Heather Wunderlich)
Dan coins SPC Jennifer Berens
SFC George Becher and daughters with Dan