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Charlie Med Back To Afghanistan

Lt. Christian Venheizen, Wyoming National Guard

The Wyoming National Guard’s most deployed unit left Thursday for another rotation in Afghanistan.

31 soldiers with C Company, 5th Battalion, 159th General Support Aviation Regiment, or Charlie Med, as they call themselves, will do two months pre deployment training before heading to western Afghanistan where they’ll be the primary medevac unit .

“And what that entails is having – we’ll have three black hawk helicopters there.  We’ll have enough crews to man all three of those helicopters with bringing 29 people from Wyoming to man that.”

Major Dane Rodgers, of Cheyenne,  is Deployment Commander. He says once in Afghanistan they will be on standby as “first-up medevac”.  “They have 15 minutes of time to where they need to launch en route to pick-up the patient.  Americans, American military, American contractors or other American entities that may be there.”  He says other foreign nationals, Afghan soldiers and civilians are also served.

Major Rodgers, says this is his 4th rotation.  He says, while his family is supportive they feel the impact of this absence.   “It does make a hardship for them to be back here with me being gone that much, but I actually haven’t deployed for about five years now so its been a while. So they’re not really very happy about it, but they understand it, they know that’s what I need to do and it’s part of my job.”

National Guard Soldiers from Cheyenne, Casper, Glenrock, Green River, and Laramie along with others from Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas make up the team.

In addition to combat support Charlie Med also responds to firefighting missions, search and rescue, and other emergencies in Wyoming and around the world.

To view the full video interview with Major Dane Rodgers follow this link…

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