On June 11th, the West Virginia National Guard practiced rescuing mock victims out of fast moving river winding through the rolling hills of Appalachia. The harrowing training involves nerves of steel by the skilled helo pilots, and in video captured by reddit user M109A6Guy, the UH-60 Blackhawk skirts just above the churning waters as one guardsman scoops his target to safety.
The Swift Water Rescue Team is assigned to the Army Interagency Training & Education Center. Training missions like these help prepare guardsman for unpredictable weather events, like the floods that ravaged West Virginia in 2016. They also certify the unit to support Federal Emergency Management Agency operations across the country, which can range from flooding search and rescue to hurricane response.
We here at Task & Purpose want to give a shout out to not only the amazing helo crew, but also the National Guardsman who volunteered to be literally be sucked down a river in the name of realistic training. If anyone deserves a free beer in Greenbrier, West Virginia, it’s you.