LATHAM, New York--Five New York Army National Guard Soldiers who operate a C-12 transport plane based at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Latham, New York are headed to East Africa later this month to support U.S. forces there.
The five Soldiers, and a sixth Soldier, who will deploy halfway through the nine-month rotation were honored during a Sunday, Nov. 6 ceremony at the flight facility.
The aviation Soldiers will be based at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. They will join 1,100 New York Army National Guard Soldiers who are already deployed in the region providing security at U.S. facilities.
Five Soldiers will mobilize on Nov. 12 and report to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training on Nov. 15.
The Soldiers are members of Detachment 5 of C Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 245th Aviation Regiment which provides passenger transport for military and Department of Defense personnel.
The farewell ceremony was held prior to Nov. 12, because it was a drill weekend for his Soldiers, and the 42nd Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, whose members wanted to attend the ceremony, according to Chief Warrant Officer 5, James McCauley, the detachment commander.
Colonel Jason Lefton, the commander of the aviation brigade said the detachment’s Soldiers were well prepared for their mission. He promised the families that the brigade would be there if they needed anything while their Soldiers were deployed.
Sgt. Victoria Kingman, and aviation operations specialist who was promoted during the ceremony, said she was looking forward to the deployment.
“I think I am going to learn a lot over there, especially with the group I am in,” Kingman said.
There are a lot of experienced aviators in the detachment, Kingman explained.
Her job, she said, will be to help the pilots coordinate their missions as they fly people and equipment around the region.
The C-12 Huron is the military version of the Model 200 Super King Air civilian executive aircraft. The plane has a crew of two-the pilot and co-pilot-and can carry seven passengers and cargo at a speed of 330 miles-per-hour.
The New York aviators will deploy alongside four Soldiers from the Kentucky Army National Guard.
They will be flying planes which are already located at Camp Lemonnier. The Latham-based detachment's C-12 aircraft will be relocated to West Virginia while they are deployed.
.The battalion has detachments responsible for ferrying military passengers located at Army National Guard aviation bases across the country.
The New York National Guard C-12 detachment will be the command element for the mission.
The detachment is expected to return to New York in August 2023.
The 1,100 New York National Guard troops already in the region are from the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment. The unit is operating as Task Force Wolfhound under the leadership of the 69th Infantry Battalion’s commander Lt. Col. Shawn Tabankin.
The New York Army National Guard has also deployed 140 Soldiers to Germany where they are assisting in training the Ukrainian Army. Another 600 Soldiers are on duty in Kuwait.
More Soldiers will be deploying to Kuwait in 2023.
The Latham-based C-12 detachment has deployed four times previously in support of overseas mission.
The unit deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010, and to Djibouti in 2013-2014. The unit sent an aircraft and aviators to Columbia in 2016. The detachment also deployed to Kuwait in 2018-2019.