CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga., Nov. 3, 2012 – Georgia Army Guardsmen from Winder’s Detachment 1, Company C, 1-185th Aviation, landed at the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) Troop 444 camping event near Canton, Ga. Arriving at the field in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, scouts were pleasantly surprised by the aircraft’s strong wash of wind. The Boy Scouts organized the weekend to provide Cub Scout Pack 700 with a look into what it takes to advance to the next scouting level, and to see what it’s like to be a Georgia Guardsman.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brandon Thomas, a 1-185th Black Hawk pilot, says he and his crew were excited to participate.
“We feel truly honored to be part of this. The children love it, and it’s our pleasure to provide this experience to them.” Thomas explained. “These are the future leaders of our country, and we are happy to enlighten them and provide them with aviation knowledge.”
Troop 444 and Pack 700 conduct their family, camping weekend annually. The goal is to encourage the oldest Cub Scouts to continue on after fifth grade, and become Boy Scouts. The scoutmaster requested that the 1-185th provide a static display with which to educate the scouts on aviation, the UH-60, and general safety.
Thomas and his crew set up around the parked Black Hawk, and then conducted a question and answer session for any interested scouts. He, the copilot, and crew chief gave a tour of the helicopter to nearly 65 scouts and their families.
Scout leader Jay Hajost, of Marietta, Ga., says he was excited about having the Guard aviators present.
“I’m so glad these guys came out today. Seeing the helicopter land and getting a tour of it after was really awesome,” Hajost said. “I’m really happy we had this opportunity, we have all really learned a lot from them.”
Troop 444 is comprised of 65 scouts from Marietta’s Walker School. Among the BSA’s many goals, is training the youth in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance. BSA does this through a wide range of outdoor activities and educational programs, such as this weekend’s camping with the Cub Scouts.
Scoutmaster Wayne Marcinko of Marietta heads troop 444. Marcinko says he guided his son through the Boy Scouts until he aged out of the program. Marcinko, wanting to remain involved in the program, took over the position of scoutmaster eight years ago.
“My priority is the youth, my scouts,” Marcinko said. “I find great satisfaction in knowing that I am shaping and molding them into strong, self-reliant, responsible citizens. I was so happy to have the 1-185th here this weekend. This is great for the scouts, and we could not thank Thomas and his crew enough.”
The aviators seemed equally enthused to be a part of the occasion. First Lt. Joseph Barbani, Thomas’ copilot and an engineering recruiter from Birmingham, says he enjoys these kinds of missions.
“We love doing these things, it’s really great. I love being able to bring our aircraft out to show these young folks what we do,” Barbani explained. “It gives a face to the military, to who we are as Citizen-Soldiers. They see these aircraft on television and movies, but this gives them a chance to experience it up close.”
Company C was established on Oct. 1, 2005 in Winder, Ga. Since then, it has accumulated more than 6,000 flight hours in deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. The unit returned home from both these missions with 100 percent of their Soldiers and equipment intact. Thomas explains that Company C remains ready to fulfill any and all missions given to it, and constantly trains for future worldwide operations.
“We train everyday and every mission has training value,” Thomas said. “Whether we are flying patrols over Iraq or educating the future leaders of our state and country here at home, we are always ready to give 100 percent in every mission we are assigned.”
Story by Pfc. Andrew Badeen
Photos by Sgt. Michael Uribe and Spc. Tekoa Burns
124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Georgia Army National Guard
Potential Fiscal Restraints and Continued Perseverance Facilitating a smooth transition into an increasingly restrained fiscal environment...