The following excerpts are from the Spring 1998 DUSTOFFer Newsletter. The complete newsletter, and all the stories, is mailed to each DUSTOFF Association member. If you are not a member, become a member now and read the complete, intriguing stories.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

The 1998 Reunion was fantastic. Starting with the reservation process (for which we owe special thanks to Sue Moore) and ending with the memorial service. If you didn't have a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye listening to Byron Howlett, Joe Brown, Ben Knisely, and Tim Lickness, you just aren't human. We have already begun planning for next year's reunion at the same location.

During last year's business meeting, we voted to canvass the membership for pledges and donations for the DUSTOFF memorial to be named in honor of MG Spurgeon Neel, USA Retired. We need your support to make this memorial a reality this year.

We need some help from our DUSTOFF unit commanders. You are the folks who can ensure the future of our association. We need you to encourage your aviators and crew members to join the association and attend the reunions. We know that's tough, given your OPTEMPO, but we will all benefit by the infusions of your highly professional, young soldiers who are carrying on the DUSTOFF legend. We also ask you take time now to recognize your outstanding individuals and crews by preparing nominations for one of the annual awards. When we formally ask for nominations, you will be ready.

DUSTOFF!
Herb Coley

The DUSTOFF Memorial Plaza

The plans for the FSH Memorial Plaza have been approved by the DUSTOFF Association's Executive Council and the FSH Historical Architect. MG Peake has made it the top priority of all beautification and memorilization projects and recommended the plaza be dedicated in honor of MG Spurgeon Neel, USA (Ret.), and all DUSTOFF crew members, past, present, and future. Funding for the plans is projected at $26,000. Because the funds available will not cover the entire project, the Association voted to raise $6,000-$10,000 for plaques, monuments, shrubbery, and benches. The DUSTOFF Association is seeking pledges and contributions to the Memorial Plaza fund. We thank COL. (Ret.) John Hosley and LTC (Ret.) and Mrs. Ken Forrest for their donations to the fund during the 1998 reunion. Your donations may be made by filling out the DUSTOFF Memorial Fund Pledge and mailing it in to the Association along with your pledge.

Rescue of the Year

Rescue of the Year Award winners: 1LT William Gordon, CW2 Leslie Henry, CPT Jay Garvens, SSG David Uebele, SGT Scott Foster, and SPC Daniel Peterson - 571st Medical Company (AA).

What a story! The whole, compelling story of their 16 Aug 97 night rescue at altitudes in excess of 11,000 feet is a tribute to these crewmembers. The difficulty of a high altitude hoist mission and a pinnacle landing in a rocky, snow and ice covered ridge required superior skill and teamwork. These soldiers demonstrated those qualities that epitomize the best of DUSTOFF.

Crew Memeber of the Year

During the past year, SGT Peter Carroll has completed over 60 MEDEVAC/MAST missions or which 49 were on-site patient pickups, with three being hoists, and 11 patient transfers.

The stories of SGT Carroll's heroics and lifesaving actions are told in the Newsletter. Really great reading. The lifesaving actions taken by SGt Carroll on the ground and in the air not only helped to stabilize the patient, but helped the patient's condition to improve. If it were not for SGT Carroll's professionalism and expertise, the patient would not have survived.

The DUSTOFF Legend

The amplified story of how Tim Lickness saved Ben Knisely's life is a high point of this Newsletter. You many read Ben Knisely and Charlie Webb's comments on separate pages on the site.

From the Wiregrass

COL Randy Sexton brought us up to speed on changes in aeromedical personnel at Fort Rucker and associated installations. He also mentioned two articles by DUSTOFFers in the Aviation Association of America magazine. LTC Crook, Commander, 421st Evacuation Battalion, Europe, wrote an article titled "Army Aeromedical Evacuation in Stability and Support Operations" and LTC Pfeiffer, UH-60Q Assistant Project Manager, Utility Helicopter PMO, wrote an article on the UH-60Q titled "21st Century - MEDEVAC Takes Shape."

Night DUSTOFF Mission

One of our prolific writers, David Freeman, relates how it was to fly night missions in Vietnam. The techniques and skills needed then provide good learning tools for today's aeromedical evacuation pilots. David is the author of The Jesus Nut, a fictional story based on his tour as a DUSTOFF pilot in Vietnam. He also maintains an excellent site on the Web.

DUSTOFF Unit Performs Hoist Mission at Record Altitude

The story of the 54th Medical Company (AA) and their patient mission at 11,500 feet is told. It is a rivoting story of professionalism and skill. In the past the high altitude missions were passed to the CH-47 Company at Ft. Lewis, but with the arrival of the Blackhawk, rescue requests are now made to the 54th for the role they have trained for.

If you are not a member, become a member now and read the whole newsletter. Don't miss out again on see the whole story.