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By Joshua Cohen
Vermont National Guard Public Affairs
On May 12, a day after representatives from the Vermont National Guard and the Republic of Austria formally entered into a State Partner Program, Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner and staff were provided with rotary-wing flight demonstrations at Camp Johnson, the Vermont National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Colchester, Vermont.
The first involved a VTNG HH-60M medevac, a variant of the UH-60 Blackhawk utility helicopter. The aircraft approached from the southeast before coming to a level hover and deploying a flight medic lowered by winch.
Once on the ground, the flight medic demonstrated the procedure for securing a casualty litter for evacuation by winch. After the flight crew retrieved and loaded the litter, the helicopter departed the area momentarily before returning to pick up the combat medic, also winched to the cabin as the HH-60M hovered at an altitude of 60 feet.
As the HH-60M left the area, a LUH-72 Lakota light utility helicopter approached, landing near the Austrian delegation. After receiving a pre-flight safety and procedures briefing, Tanner and Vermont’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight boarded the helicopter for a flight over the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho and Lake Champlain.
A second presentation was held at the VTNG flight facility in South Burlington. Austrian delegates were given hands-on briefings and tours of the interior of HH-60M and LUH-72 Lakota aircraft in the flight facility hanger area. Delegates noted the similarities between HH-60M Austrian Air Force S-70A helicopters. Although not planned, Austrian delegates were in the right place at the right time to observe F-35A flight operations including landings at Burlington International Airport.
Returning to the flight facility by LUH-72, Minister Tanner was provided a luncheon where the meetings and discussions with female Vermont Guard members were held before the delegation’s departure.