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NEWS | Nov. 6, 2018

MEDEVAC Soldiers return from Kosovo deployment

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

Approximately 25 Soldiers assigned to the Chesterfield-based Detachment 2, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment returned to the United States Nov. 3, 2018, after serving on federal active duty in Kosovo since January. The Soldiers provided aerial medical evacuation support and training to U.S. and allied forces supporting Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo.

In Kosovo, the Soldiers were part of Task Force Guardian led by 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment of the Massachusetts National Guard.

During their deployment, the Soldiers flew more than 575 hours, conducted 70 medical evacuation training missions and more than 170 additional training flights.

Based at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, the detachment provided on-call aerial medical evacuation support within the KFOR theater of operations and and also provided aerial medical evacuation training at Camp Bondsteel or other authorized training areas around Kosovo, explained Capt. Mike Kone, the detachment commander.

“Since arriving in Kosovo, our Soldiers maintained a crew 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide response with a 15 minute launch window as well as a second response crew,” Kone said. They supported nine real-world medical evacuation calls, six of which were categorized as urgent.

“Charlie Company completed more 68 air mission requests, training every KFOR NATO country, the Kosovo Security Force, Kosovo Police, Non-Government Organizations and Serbian Armed Forces in MEDEVAC operations,” Kone said. “Charlie Company also played a large role in operations Silver Sabre, Eagle 6 and Exercise Joint Response enhancing the training of Kosovo forces and demonstrating the combined operability of KFOR and the Kosovo government.”

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