Army National Guard soldiers from the Capital Region took off for Oklahoma this morning for two months of training, but were back home less than an hour later.
Five Black Hawk helicopters took off from the Guard’s Latham Flight Facility on Old Niskayuna Road for Fort Sill, Okla. at 10:15 a.m., but returned after hitting bad weather about a half-hour out. The unit will try the flight again Saturday.
The same helicopters will be transported later from Oklahoma to Kuwait. Another five helicopters are scheduled to depart from Latham on Saturday. Other soldiers were to fly in a military C-12 airplane or on commercial flights.
About 160 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion. 142nd Aviation, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade were scheduled to leave between today and Monday. Another 160 battalion members from Long Island also are going.
Maj. Jeff Baker of Rotterdam, who was working until last October as a pharmacist for Price Chopper’s HouseCalls service, said he was “anxious to go, do our job and get home. We’ve trained for this for a long time.”
Jacob Beck, a 24-year-old specialist from Amsterdam, will serve as a Black Hawk crew chief.
“I’m nervous,” he said, “but I’m really happy to be with this group of people. … I’d trust any one of them with my back. That’s a good feeling, going into something like this.”
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Categories: Schenectady County