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.

West Virginia, Army, National GuardU.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Vance
West Virginia National Guard Soldiers with Company C, 2/104th General Support Aviation Battalion (MEDEVAC) fly the West Virginia Swift Water Rescue Team as they complete Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Level One training June 11, 2018 near Camp Dawson, W.Va.

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.

West Virginia, Army, National GuardU.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Vance
West Virginia Army National Guard Spc. Evan James, a member of the WV Swift Water Rescue Team, hoists up a mock victim from the Cheat River while training June 12, 2018 near Camp Dawson, W.Va.

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.

West Virginia, Army, National GuardU.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Vance
West Virginia Army National Guard Spc. Evan James, a member of the WV Swift Water Rescue Team, hoists up a mock victim from the Cheat River while training June 12, 2018 near Camp Dawson, W.Va.