09 August 2007

Landstuhl-based DUSTOFF unit prepares for next deployment

Sgt. Micah Payne, a crew chief and flight instructor with Company C, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, walks toward a UH-60 helicopter before flying a local nighttime training mission July 17 at Kirchberg Kaserne near Landstuhl, Germany. The unit is slated to deploy to support Marines in Iraq later this summer. Photo Ben Bloker / S&S

LANDSTUHL, Germany — Few sounds are more reassuring to wounded troops and their brethren treating them on the battlefield than the churning blades of a medical evacuation helicopter arriving.

This summer, soldiers with Company C, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment will fill that role, ferry wounded and provide medical care above the sands of Iraq.

The unit based near Landstuhl is excited and motivated about the upcoming deployment, said Maj. Andrew Risio, Company C commander.

“I personally think it’s the best mission in the Army,” he said. “We get to go someplace and take care of guys.”

The unit — formerly known as the 236th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) — returned to Landstuhl from their last year-long deployment in January 2006.

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