The page last updated 09 May 2009.


Back Issues of Newsletter

The following excerpts are from the Summer 1999 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 issue.


Greetings from the President of your DUSTOFF Association. I'm honored to serve as your president this year and follow in the footsteps of such great and dedicated leaders. Being able to serve as a DUSTOFF crewmember early in my career had a profound and positive impact on my life and I'm proud to do what I can to serve an organization that supports perpetuating our legacy. My goal for this year is simple - do what we can to foster making our Association the kind of Association YOU want it to be. In that regard we would like to hear from you - our valued friends and members. Send us your ideas and suggestions. We promise to listen and consider. Our hard working Executive Board meets several times between reunions. We met recently and stated discussing dates, location and program for the 2000 reunion. Looks as if there will be an Evacuation Conference in San Antonio next year. We are collaborating on dates and location with the MEDEVAC folks from Fort Rucker. I look forward to serving as your President, look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you at the millennium reunion.

Merle Snyder

U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment Wins FORSCOM Award

The U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment recently received the Category E Forces Command Commander's Trophy for excellence in aircraft accident prevention for the third year in a row. The FORSCOM Commander's Trophy for excellence in aircraft accident prevention is a prestigious award that recognizes not only the professional qualities and competence of the aviators, but also the individual excellence of each soldier.

In Fiscal Year 1997, Air Ambulance had a total of 1,444.6 flying hours and 1,639.2 in FY1998 with six assigned aircraft. They had zero accidents and zero injured during this time.

421st Medical Evacuation Battalion Wins Award

The 421st Med Bat has won the LTG Ellis D. Parker Aviation Unit in the Combat Service Support category for the second year in succession. Furthermore, the 421st has won this award four out of the last six years (1993, 1995, 1997, and 1998).

The Parker Award is a Department of the Army level award that recognizes excellence in leadership, training, maintenance, and safety during the preceding fiscal year.

The 20th Anniversary Reunion

If statistics alone are the measure, the 20th Anniversary Reunion was a rousing success! There were 264 members and guests registered for the reunion, with more than 200 at the Friday night buffet and 220 at the Saturday night banquet. The Chuck Mateer Golf Classic on Friday found sixty-three folks enjoying unseasonably warm February weather in San Antonio.

The highlight for many was the banquet and our tribute to Major General Spurgeon Neel. Ben Knisely and Fred Grates, two of his former aides, did a magnificent job sharing vignettes of their days with General Neel and honoring him for his many and significant contribution to the Army and specifically DUSTOFF.

John Soehnlein of Sikorsky Aircraft presented the Rescue of the Year award to the 54th Med. Co. of Ft. Lewis, Washington. Mike Riley of Breeze Eastern presented the Crewmember of the Year award to SSG Baldwin Fajardo, 50th Med. Co. of Fort Campbell.

159th DUSTOFF has First Reunion

After almost three decades, the 159th Med. Det. came together once again for its first reunion. Thirty=four members of the unit, including aviators, crew chiefs, medics and maintenance personnel, along with their families, spent three days reuniting and reminiscing with old friends at the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel.

History 101

Thirty years after flying the hostile skies over Vietnam in observation helicopters and gunships, six pilots, all CW4s from the 126th Med. Co. California National Guard are on their way to Bosnia-Herzegovina to provide Medevac support in the SFOR AOR as part of SFOR4 with the 1st Cav Div.

Night Fliers Practice for Medical Mission in Bosnia

The story of Detachment 1 of the 24th Med. Co., Kansas Army National Guard practiving night vision flight in preparation for deployment to Bosnia is told. For the past four months they have been learning to fly with night vision goggles to prepare for whatever awaits them in northern Bosnia.

A Mission at Black Horse

A riveting tale of a mission on September 5, 1969 is told by Richard Dean who was crew chief on the mission.