An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Oct. 27, 2022

Arizona Guard Team in Kosovo Conducts Evacuation Mission

By Staff Sgt. Amouris Coss, 138th Public Affairs Detachment

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Arizona National Guard Soldiers assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment, had a three-year journey leading up to their arrival in Kosovo. Just eight days after arriving, they received their first medevac mission as a unit.

At approximately 10:15 p.m. Oct. 15, Kosovo Force’s Regional Command-East received a warning of a possible medevac mission brewing at their northernmost base, Camp Nothing Hill. A Soldier at the installation required evacuation for a higher level of care as soon as possible.

The crew on duty, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Anderson, the pilot in command; Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Carey, the second pilot in command; Sgt. Jacob Anderson and Sgt. Jon Atcitty, both inflight paramedics, began preparing for the mission.

“I think that being able to give the service members that are elsewhere throughout the country some peace of mind by them knowing that we’re only 20 minutes away is a huge boost to their confidence when doing their missions,” said Robert Anderson.

When the team arrived at Camp Nothing Hill, they assessed the situation and knew the Soldier needed to get to a hospital as soon as possible. Jacob decided to take the Soldier to Spitali Amerikan Hospital in Pristina, Kosovo, a 20-minute trip. If the medic at Camp Nothing Hill had decided to drive the patient, it would have taken more than an hour and a half to reach the facility.

“It was excellent to see all the pieces coming together and getting a lot of help from the medic on the ground,” said Jacob. “We’ve done it in training scenarios over and over, but it was pretty fulfilling to come together as a group and actually pull off the mission and take care of somebody.”

For the paramedics, training extends for more than two years and adds several courses to the already challenging Army combat medic course. Pilots’ school typically takes two years to complete, with countless hours of add-on training once assigned to a unit. Carey had flown Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters, so had to be trained on the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.

“It’s about a two-year pipeline because you have to go to paramedic school, critical care school, flight school, and then come home and go through progression training,” Jacob said. “It’s a little over two years to be fully mission capable as a flight paramedic. It’s a lot of work, and you have to be passionate about it and love it, but getting able to actually get in the aircraft and do it was pretty fulfilling.”

The mission’s success was due to the crew of the aircraft and countless other Soldiers, all the way down to the maintenance crew and fuelers.

One of KFOR’s defining missions in Kosovo is to maintain a safe and secure environment. For the troops working in the region, it is important to have medical assets available to keep them safe.

“It was super helpful (for) me to have somebody that did such a good initial job on the ground, and then being able to call us for transportation really shows how working together like that is paramount to getting troops taken care of,” said Jacob.



Related Articles
Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, and SEA Tony Whitehead, senior enlisted advisor to the CNGB, visit National Guardsmen deployed within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility March 15, 2024.
The Hometown Heroes of Tower 22
By Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely, | March 27, 2024
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - The Guardsmen hailed from hometowns across America, but when they found themselves deployed to a remote desert outpost in the no man’s land where the borders of Jordan, Iraq and Syria meet, they built a...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony Whitehead, SEA to the CNGB, center left and center right, respectively, with competitors of the 2023 National Guard Bureau Innovation Challenge at the Herbert R. Temple Jr. Army National Guard Readiness Center, Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, Dec. 7, 2023. Arizona Army National Guard members took home top honors for their concept of exportable maneuver live-fire capabilities that could help units achieve training requirements.
National Guard Members Showcase Innovation
By Air Force Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith, | Dec. 8, 2023
ARLINGTON, Va. - The 2023 National Guard Bureau Innovation Challenge showcased the inventive prowess of Guard members nationwide Dec. 7 at the Herbert R. Temple Jr. Army National Guard Readiness Center. Among the concepts...

Alaska Army National Guard 1st Sgt. Oliver Meza, Bravo Company first sergeant, brings the formation to attention during a deployment ceremony for B Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment, at the Alaska National Guard Armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Sept. 29, 2023. Approximately 100 Soldiers are deploying to the Middle East for nine months to support Operation Spartan Shield.
Alaska National Guardsmen Prepare for Middle East Deployment
By Balinda ONeal, | Oct. 3, 2023
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Approximately 100 Alaska Army National Guardsmen assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment, are deploying to Kuwait in November as part of Operation Spartan...