On Monday, the Black Hawk helicopter crew from the North Dakota National Guard which has been in Minot for past days returned to their home base in Bismarck.
Another Black Hawk crew from the Wisconsin National Guard remained in Minot for a few more days and left Friday, Guard officials said. The Wisconsin aircraft has hoist capability, they said.
The two Black Hawk helicopters and crews were standing by in Minot in case they were needed to help with the flooding operations in this part of the state.
Eloise Ogden/MDN --
Here’s a close-up of the cockpit of the North Dakota National Guard’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter which was in Minot for flood operations.
The N.D. National Guard helicopters are with the 1-112th Command Aviation Battalion based in Bismarck and commanded by Lt. Col. Dave Hall of Bismarck.
North Dakota has five UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Two of the aircraft have hoist capability. The N.D. Guard also has OH-58 Kiowas. The OH-58 is an observation helicopter.
The Black Hawk's work includes air assault.
"That's basically troop movements or equipment movements," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Scott Hauge, a Black Hawk pilot with the Bismarck unit who grew up at Minot. Hauge was one of the two pilots with the crew who was in Minot for flood operations.
"With the sling load we can take, like a Humvee for instance, and move it to some area with the crew inside the aircraft. When they get on the ground, they can drop the ground vehicle and the troops," he said.
For the flood operations at Minot, the two Black Hawks that were here could do two types of missions the Wisconsin Guard aircraft has the hoist capability for rescues and the North Dakota aircraft can do large moving and pick-up operations.
"We land in a bigger space to pick people up or move supplies in. We also have the sling-load capabilities where we pick up the big sandbags, move them in or move supplies in," Hauge said.
The seven-member crew that was in Minot including two pilots, three crew chiefs and two flight operations people.
Hauge said his job in the N.D. National Guard and the work they do is very gratifying and rewarding for him.