Guard Members Participate in South African Air Show

LATHAM, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2010 — More than 70 mem­bers of the New York Army and Air Nation­al Guard from Long Island, the Hud­son Val­ley and the state cap­i­tal region are in Cape Town, South Africa, this week par­tic­i­pat­ing in the African continent’s largest air show, the Africa Aero­space and Defense Expo­si­tion 2010.

106th Rescue Wing from Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Westhampton Beach, N.Y
Mem­bers of the 106th Res­cue Wing from Fran­cis S. Gabres­ki Air Nation­al Guard Base, West­hamp­ton Beach, N.Y., unload an HH-60 Pave Hawk heli­copter from a C‑17 Globe­mas­ter III at the Yster­plaat air force base in South Africa for the Africa Aero­space and Defense 2010 exhi­bi­tion. The New York Nation­al Guard par­tic­i­pates in a State Part­ner­ship Pro­gram with the South African Nation­al Defense Force and sent an Army Nation­al Guard OH-58 Kiowa Scout heli­copter and the Pave Hawk res­cue heli­copter to par­tic­i­pate in the exhi­bi­tion.
U.S. Army pho­to by Staff Sgt. Inman Frank
Click to enlarge

The event, held at the Yster­plaat air force base, fea­tures air­craft from 35 coun­tries and 135 manufacturers. 

The New York Nation­al Guard, which par­tic­i­pates in the State Part­ner­ship Pro­gram with the South African Nation­al Defense Force, sent an Army Nation­al Guard OH-58 Kiowa Scout heli­copter and a New York Air Nation­al Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk res­cue heli­copter to par­tic­i­pate in the exhibition. 

“Sup­port mis­sions such as this afford our New York Nation­al Guard a con­tin­u­ous capa­bil­i­ty to strength­en our part­ner­ship with the South African Nation­al Defense Forces,” said Army Brig. Gen. Ren­wick Payne, New York Nation­al Guard’s joint staff direc­tor and the high­est-rank­ing offi­cer on the mis­sion. “We in New York are look­ing for­ward to oppor­tu­ni­ties like this to exchange and share infor­ma­tion about how we pre­pare sol­diers and air­men for the demands of today’s con­tin­gency missions.” 

Army Sgt. Kevin Res­sel­er, an OH-59 ground sup­port mechan­ic with the New York Guard, looked for­ward to the trip. “It’s going to be awe­some,” he said. “You’ll see what oth­er coun­tries are using, and you’ll see what oth­er units are using.” 

The HH-60 Pave Hawk belongs to the 106th Res­cue Wing based at Fran­cis S. Gabres­ki Air­port in West­hamp­ton Beach on Long Island. The wing, fea­tured in the movie “The Per­fect Storm,” also sent 25 air­men, includ­ing parares­cue spe­cial­ists, to par­tic­i­pate in the show and con­duct mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary activ­i­ties with South African forces. 

The HH-60 was trans­port­ed to Cape Town Inter­na­tion­al Air­port by a New York Air Nation­al Guard C‑5A Galaxy trans­port air­craft, and lat­er to Yster­plaat by a C‑17 Globe­mas­ter III based in Hungary. 

The C‑5A, which trans­port­ed the Army Nation­al Guard troops and equip­ment, is assigned to the 105th Air­lift Wing at Stew­art Air Nation­al Guard Base in New­burgh. The wing con­ducts strate­gic air­lift around the world on a reg­u­lar basis. 

The OH-58 Kiowa is assigned to Detach­ment 1, Alpha Com­pa­ny, of the 224th Avi­a­tion Secu­ri­ty and Sup­port Bat­tal­ion here. The unit nor­mal­ly flies mis­sions in sup­port of the New York Nation­al Guard Coun­ter­drug Task Force. 

The Army Nation­al Guard has also sent an M1117 Armored Secu­ri­ty Vehi­cle and a Humvee ambu­lance for dis­play. A team from the 442nd Mil­i­tary Police Com­pa­ny, based in Yonkers, is with the armored secu­ri­ty vehi­cle, while the 466th Area Med­ical Com­pa­ny from Queens­bury sent the Humvee ambu­lance and sol­diers to accom­pa­ny it. 

Par­tic­i­pa­tion in this air show is part of the New York Nation­al Guard’s ongo­ing rela­tion­ship with South Africa, offi­cials said. The State Part­ner­ship Pro­gram is a Nation­al Guard ini­tia­tive that encour­ages rela­tion­ships, enhances inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty and builds capac­i­ty across all lev­els of soci­ety with devel­op­ing nations. Each state and ter­ri­to­r­i­al Nation­al Guard is part­nered with the mil­i­tary of a devel­op­ing friend­ly nation. 

New York’s part­ner­ship with South Africa began in 2003. Since then, New York Nation­al Guard has been send­ing mil­i­tary vis­i­tors to South Africa and host­ing mil­i­tary and civil­ian vis­i­tors in return. Air Force Maj. Scott Williams of the 106th Res­cue Wing, is respon­si­ble for main­tain­ing this bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship and is sta­tioned in the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria. 

From a New York State Divi­sion of Mil­i­tary and Naval Affairs News Release
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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