Governor Ige Visits with Hawaiʻi Air National Guard Members Heading to Texas on Hurricane Harvey Relief Mission

A Hawaiʻi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft from the 204th Airlift Squadron, 154th Wing, departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam early this morning as part of the nation’s Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

The C-17, carrying two flight crews and maintenance personnel (16 Airmen in total) will initially fly to Memphis International Airport in Tennessee, from where they will transport relief supplies to the hurricane-damaged areas around Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey is one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. The Hawaiʻi Air National Guard received the request for assistance from the National Guard Bureau yesterday afternoon and was prepared to depart just after dawn today.

Gov. David Y. Ige and Hawaiʻi National Guard leadership were on hand to see the flight crews and maintenance personnel off at Hickam Field.

“I’m very proud of our Hawaiʻi National Guard Airmen who were able to generate this mission on very short notice,” said Gov. Ige. “Hawaiʻi stands with our brothers and sisters in Texas and I know the crew will be bringing the Aloha Spirit to a lot of people who are in great need right now.”

The C-17 has been tasked with transporting relief supplies such as generators, tactical shelters, medical supplies and field kitchens from National Guard units from other states. They anticipate they will be flying multiple missions and the return date has not yet been determined. The 204th Airlift Squadron is one of three flying units within the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard’s 154th Wing, the largest and most complex wing in the entire Air National Guard. The Guard is tasked with being ready for war or any other operational contingency overseas and well as disaster response here at home.

Hawaii National Guard Receives Three New Blackhawk Helicopters

The Hawaii Army National Guard’s newest unit has received three HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters. The Blackhawks were offloaded from a C-17 transport at the Kalaeloa Airfield today. They will be assembled on-site and operate out of Wheeler Army Air Field until a new facility at Kalaeloa is completed.

new-helisDetachment 1, Company G, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment is a new aeromedical evacuation unit and is in the process of filling its ranks. The detachment’s mission is to provide MEDEVAC support to military entities. The unit will have about 30 soldiers, most of whom will be drill status, or part-time forces.  The unit will not provide full-time support to civil authorities, but when fully staffed, it may provide supplemental support.

This unit is one of the most requested types of units to deploy, with its specialty of MEDEVAC being in high demand.

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The new Blackhawk models have a couple of features that differentiate them from the HIARNG’s current UH-60M Blackhawks. These HH-60M have an external hoist, a Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) and the capability to carry six litter patients or six ambulatory (or three of each patients) within its MEDEVAC cabin configuration. The four-person crew is made up of two pilots, one crew chief and one flight medic.

It will initially operate from Wheeler Army Airfield, Army Aviation Support Facility #1, until administrative requirements are completed. The new unit will then operate from the nearly completed Army Aviation Support Facility located at Kalaeloa. The Kalaeloa AASF cost $32.6 million and is being built by Watts Constructors, LLC. The estimated completion date is November 2016. The Kalaeloa AASF will encompass almost 67,000 square feet and will have a large hangar to support aircraft as well as an administrative area for classrooms, restrooms, conference rooms and offices.

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff at All State Offices and Agencies Beginning Now until Dec. 9 – RIP Nelson Mandela

As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawaii shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaii National Guard, now until sunset Dec. 9, 2013.

From the Governor's Desk

Gov. Abercrombie shared the following remarks upon learning of Mandela’s passing:

“Nelson Mandela reminded us all of our common humanity. He was the symbol and the living reality of what perseverance and determination a human being can bring to bear on behalf of the freedom of us all.

“It’s less that he is passed from us than the message of his life stays with us. If we can retain that in our hearts and our minds, then we, too, can focus on our common humanity for the benefit of all.”

President Barack Obama today ordered that the U.S. flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period of time at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the federal government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions, as well as at all U.S. embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad.

 

Mission Complete for Hawaii Advisory Team – Say Aloha to the Afghanistan Uniformed Police

Hawaii National Guard soldiers complete their last mission as advisors for the Qalat Reserve Kandak, Afghan Uniformed Police.

National Guard Gift

The Qalat Reserve Kandak is comprised of over 700 policemen that patrol Highway One in Zabul Province.

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Includes sound bites from Sgt. Bennet Samson, 1st Lt. Christopher Bretz and Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Ynigues, SFAT 21 and Maj. Ralph Hasegwa, SFAT 22. Video by Spc. Tim Morgan

Hawaii State Civil Defense Walk Through

A brief tour of the Hawaii State Civil Defense headquarters provided by the Hawaii National Guard.

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Hawaii National Guard Makes Aviation History by Being First Guard Unit to Receive CH-47 Foxtrot Helicopter

B-roll of the Hawaii National Guard making aviation history by being the first Guard unit to receive the CH-47 Foxtrot Helicopter.

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The CH-47-D’s increased technical capacities, horse power, and top speed will add the Hawaii National Guard’s capability complete its state and federal mission.

A few weeks short of the 50th anniversary of the Chinooks’ maiden flight, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and the Hawai’i Army National Guard (HIARNG) held a CH-47F “Chinook” Unit Equipping Ceremony inside the Pacific Aviation Museum, Sept. 8th.

More than 400 Soldiers and guests filled the Pacific Aviation Museum’s historic “Hangar 79,” along with its collection of original, historic aircraft.

“I can’t think of a better backdrop to unveil the ‘newest’ airframe in our 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and Hawai’i Army National Guard inventory — the CH-47F,” said Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, U.S. Army Pacific Commander (USARPAC). “I’ve got to tell you that our Army and our industry partners certainly got it right with this aircraft.”

More Here: 25 CAB and HNG Introduce CH-47F Chinook Helicopters to their fleet