MEDEVAC soldiers ready for Afghanistan
The MEDEVAC unit on Fort Drum is all set for its upcoming Afghanistan deployment. It will be the first time overseas for nearly half of the 100 medical soldiers; but as our Brian Dwyer reports, a year's worth of training and some real life major disaster efforts have this group be ready for anything.
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FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- "Every time these people do their job, it's usually bad news. It means somebody's been hurt, one of our soldiers, a child, or a civilian. I look forward to them doing their mission, I just hope we don't do it a whole lot," said Kenny Brodhead, MEDEVAC Senior Pilot.
The 100 soldiers that make up the Charlie Company MEDEVAC unit are finished with preps. The unit that answers the call for an injury, flees and runs into danger, and gets the hurt to help, casing their flag, is ready to lead a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
"We're sitting around. We're watching TV. We have no idea that it's coming. At any moment we could be seven minutes away from doing 150 miles per hour. We're spinning loaded and we're ready to go," said Brodhead.
"We wouldn't have it any other way. We are the best. They are the best. They fight to get into this unit. What they do on a day-to-day basis simply amazes myself as well as the rest of the Army,” said Christopher Logan, MEDEVAC Commander.
This deployment will test that. Not only are the United States soldiers taking a back seat to their Afghan counterparts, but half of the unit has never deployed before. So, those in charge have to truly lead the way.
"When that radio crackles, I feel it. I feel the adrenaline. I feel the excitement. So, I look at these new people. If I'm feeling it then their head is about to explode," said Brodhead.
These soldiers got to put all their training to the test this past summer, answering our own nation's call for help when Super Storm Sandy swept through the Northeast.
"The quickness, how ready you have to be at a moment's notice to execute the mission is unparallel," said Logan.
"It tested us. Afterwards, we considered some of the things we could have done better. It does directly apply to our wartime mission," said Brodhead.
If all goes as planned, these soldiers could be home in early December, just in time to celebrate Christmas with the families they're leaving behind.