Home : News
NEWS | April 28, 2022

NC Guard trains in Operation Sage Eagle in New Mexico

By Capt. Patrick Montandon, 449th Combat Aviation Brigade

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina National Guard Soldiers from Detachment 2, Charlie Company of the 1-126th Aviation Regiment, took part in Operation Sage Eagle in White Sands, New Mexico, in an exercise that supported the 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces Regiment.

Operation Sage Eagle is a recurring training event to assist Special Forces battalions in validating subordinate units on pre-mission training.

Members of Detachment 2, Charlie Company, tested their aeromedical operations to execute mission-essential tasks. This included C-17 expeditionary operations, cross-country movement, aircraft maintenance, and Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) operations. The event in February and March focused on three combat medevac scenarios: aircraft stacking, degraded visual environments, and high altitude operations. These capabilities were a great addition to the 5th Special Forces Group training to validate deployment capabilities.

“Regardless of our enemies’ technological advancements or advantages, we must be continuously prepared to respond effectively,” said Capt. Joseph Longoria, Detachment 2, Charlie Company commander. 

Longoria, referencing the callsign “DUSTOFF” specific to U.S. Army Air Ambulance units, added: “We aren’t your run-of-the-mill dustoff; we enjoy a good fight.”

It took a team effort to succeed as several other units were involved with the operation. The Tennessee Air National Guard provided the C-17 to transport aircraft, and helicopter blades had to be folded in a specific configuration for transport. The 145th Airlift Wing of the North Carolina Air Guard assisted with maintenance, inspection, hazardous material support, and access to their ramp and hangar in Charlotte.

The North Carolina unit required extensive planning and support to transport its team to White Sands. The ground support section operated and distributed over 200,000 pounds of fuel at the Oro Grande FARP and trained five additional Soldiers on fueling operations.

Detachment 2, Charlie Company of the 1-126 Aviation Regiment, met essential training objectives, completing 122 flight hours, 15 medevac missions, 14 training crew missions, Environmental Qualifications and Academic, power management training.

“Every Soldier was tested vigorously in their specific specialties to ensure our mission was successful,” Longoria said.

Detachment 2, Charlie Company of the 1-126 Aviation Regiment, is based out of Salisbury and assigned to the 449th Combat Aviation Brigade headquartered in Morrisville.