National Guard unit going to Kosovo for peacekeeping duty

National Guard unit going to Kosovo for peacekeeping duty

PHOENIX (AP) – An Arizona Army National Guard helicopter unit is headed overseas.

The 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion of the 285th Aviation Regiment will deploy to Kosovo in southeastern Europe for nine months for a NATO peacekeeping mission.

The aviation unit flies UC-60 Blackhawk transport helicopters.

A National, Guard spokesman, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Freese, said the battalion will take its Blackhawks with it to a U.S. base for redeployment training.

However, he says the unit’s helicopters will return to Arizona while the battalion’s nearly 150 soldiers travel to Kosovo, where they will use U.S. Army equipment during their deployment.

The Blackhawks’ military roles include transporting troops on assault missions, evacuating wounded soldiers and delivering supplies and equipment.

The National Guard’s Blackhawks can support civilian authorities in situations such as wildfires and flooding.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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