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Thread: So You Served!!

  1. #316
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    My thought.... Never pass-up the opportunity not to fly in an Army helicopter.
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  2. #317
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    US Army

    67T then reclassed to 15T same MOS UH-60 Crew chief was stationed in Giebelstadt Germany from March 1998 till December 2003

    12 AVN BDE: 5-158th Delta Co Catfish, Raptors AVN, Bravo Catfish 3-158th AVN

  3. #318
    Quote Originally Posted by hesterx6 View Post
    67T then reclassed to 15T same MOS UH-60 Crew chief was stationed in Giebelstadt Germany from March 1998 till December 2003

    12 AVN BDE: 5-158th Delta Co Catfish, Raptors AVN, Bravo Catfish 3-158th AVN
    Bosnia rotation 97-98 58D pilot at Tuzla. If you came down for SFOR support at that time we may have flown on the same missions. If you remember the 58D that hit wires over srebrenicia January 20th 1998, I was on that mission, coordinated the rescue effort for the surviving aircrew members.
    R. Reece Mullins Ebony R1200RT (Gretchen)
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  4. #319
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesterx6 View Post
    67T then reclassed to 15T same MOS UH-60 Crew chief was stationed in Giebelstadt Germany from March 1998 till December 2003

    12 AVN BDE: 5-158th Delta Co Catfish, Raptors AVN, Bravo Catfish 3-158th AVN
    Thanks for your service Hester! It would be great to know what you had been doing, and where you'd done it, so that we could appreciate the sacrifices you made for us. For us former USAF, USN, USMC etc. folks it would be a fine thing to know about your exploits. Maybe you/Reece could provide some translation?
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  5. #320
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    Thanks for your service Hester! It would be great to know what you had been doing, and where you'd done it, so that we could appreciate the sacrifices you made for us. For us former USAF, USN, USMC etc. folks it would be a fine thing to know about your exploits. Maybe you/Reece could provide some translation?
    Actually there are some of us that don't really stand up and BRAG AND GO ON AN ON about what we have done. It isn't that we don't want to stand up and say that we were there; but the "BLOWING OF ONE'S HORN" gets old and it's kinda like having to listen to the old guy down at the end of the bar go on and on about the BS of just how wonderful and how great they are..........Just my thoughts; but there have been a world of folks come on this thread and perhaps that is an indicator of what they want to share......NOT SELF GLORIFICATION AGAIN AND AGAIN.........God bless these United States........Dennis

  6. #321
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Oh Dennis, Dennis, Dennis.....
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  7. #322
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisDarrow View Post
    Actually there are some of us that don't really stand up and BRAG AND GO ON AN ON about what we have done.
    Dennis - I wasn't looking to hear some bragging, I just couldn't decode all those acronyms. I may not be alone in wondering. That's all.
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
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  8. #323
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Oh Dennis, Dennis, Dennis.....
    No Colonel......YOU would know; but who cares and can go on and on about Crypto gathering all across Euro against the Ruskis, and their Warsaw Buds.......Especially with the 20th Cav around Regensberg and spefically Schneiberg........BUT......WHO CARES......that is what I am trying to say. We all did our duty for the time we put in and have many tales to tell.......BUT......some folks blow their trumpet a bit to loud again and again......It is what it is....and TRULY.........Glad you understand.......Dennis

  9. #324
    So allow me to toot some heros horns for them on a thread designed by Vetrans in the MOA for Vetrans....

    So I was hoping Mr. Hester was one of the USAEURA (For John and others, I'll be throwing down some serious acronyms: United States of America EURope Army... Don't quote me on this one as I was never "stationed" in Europe.) blackhawk CE's (Crewchiefs) that would have been able to make a connection to me (small army, you never know) based on the one major event that occurred in Army aviation in Europe that year. We had a USAEURA medivac unit attached to our task force that participated in the medivac of Cazimero and Grosnick. Stephanie Fogg one of the pilots in the medivac unit was there married to another blackhawk pilot from the same unit. Her and I went to flight school together in 93. If Mr. Hester was in the unit or sister unit he may have known them.

    This story is nowhere on the Internet, that I've been able to find.
    It was January 20th 1998, I was just back off of leave and assigned the mission as a PIC of a four ship Kiowa warrior scout weapons team to cover the official envoy that was meeting with the protesters and citizens of Srebrenicia. If your not familiar with the massacre of Srebrencia, this historical footnote is well documented on the Internet, I encourage the reader to follow up if so inclined. The team consisted of: Brad Rassega-Mike Jones/Caz Cazamerro-Rob Grosinick (team one). Myself-LT Birdsell/Russ Shuller-Chris Rowelly (team 2). One team on station, providing constant security for the delegation, while the other team was off station conducting FARP (Forward Area Re-Arm/Refuel Point) rotations.

    Team one went direct to the objective as I recall while my team went directly to the FARP to top off and relieve team one. As a PIC my LT asked to fly right seat and wiggle the sticks for this mission while I sat in the left seat and ran the radios and MMS (Mast Mounted Sight with FLIR Forward Looking InfaRed). This is typically the AMC (Air Mission Commander) seat where the Liutentant (LT) was supposed to be but hey, he wanted some stick time, what could happen right? I got chewed out for this decision by my commander when we got back.

    After topping off on gas, my team left the FARP enroute to Srebrencia to relieve team one and establish the FARP rotation. It was shortly after I tuned up the command freq on the sincars radio that we heard something. There was a muted scream that suddenly stopped over the net, very unusual just a blip really maybe half a second, followed by silence. I remember very distinctly looking across the cockpit at Birdsell and him looking at me, and me asking, what was that?" Before he could answer we heard Brad transmit, "Caz, Caz! Are you Ok?" Followed by Son of a F&$@!€%# B&$#&@!!!! CAZ... CAZ, are you OK!!!!!! And then the radios lit up big time. I had yet to transmit that we were enroute an elected to stay off of the radios until we got a little closer. Birdsell kept pulling up on the collective and banging the transient range. I told him sternly after about the third time to go to 95% torque and leave it.

    I listened intently to the radios inbound developing SA (situational Awarness) as I knew we were in for it when we got on station. When I realized one of our aircraft went down I started praying silently and fervently that God would protect my friends from harm. As we got closer (SINCARS are line of sight secure frequency hop radios with very limited range in a mountainous invironment) I was able to get a quick call into Brad, that we were 10 minutes inbound to his location, request battle handover. Brad being the absolute consummate professional that he was, already had a plan and was running on fumes single ship trying to vector ground forces to the crash site on the side of a steep mountain. He was busy, I let him run the battle.

    As I didn't think medivac had been alerted yet, I sent my sister ship, Russ and Chris to altitude enroute and gave them the medivac freq on the comm card single channel FM in the red. I wanted them to at least establish comms with medivac back in Tuzula on camp eagle. Once on station, I started talking to Brad who attempted to walk me in visually on the crash site. The LT was very excited and was jinking the aircraft and doing orbits causing me to constantly have to reorient the site in the target area. I spotted a knobbed hiltop that I thought would make a good OP (observation Post) and told him to make a pinnicale approach to that location and come to a hover. He did, and I was able to get the site on the target and settle the team down. I sent chauk two up high orbit to coordinate the medivac nine line call (they had established comms with the medivac unit at Tuzla. I was talking to my sister ship on FM 2 and Brad (team one AMC) on FM 1.

    Brad was trying to talk me in on the crash site, but I couldn't get it in the sight (I'm recording as well as the other aircraft with our AVTR (Airborne Video Tape Recorder). I kept looking for something that resemble an aircraft... Big mistake! Nothing was left but bits and pieces. Finally Grosnick had found the aircraft fire extinguisher and used it on some sparking wires when he did so a plume of halon came up from the crash site. I had them in the site, finally Brad was bingo fuel and left for the FARP single ship. I started talking to the ground guys and I think at one point Grosnick was on their radio (when they reached him). In short order I learned that Rob (Grosnick) had survived without a scratch, Caz on the other hand was in very bad shape, brain swelling, unconscious, multiple broken bones. If we didn't get him out soon he wasn't going to make it... And it looked like he wasn't going to make it even if we did get him out. He was in a very bad way. The safety center determined in the investigation that the cause of the accident was wire strike, they fell form 300 feet at 90KIAS onto the side of the mountain. They had compromised living space and exceeded the G force capacity of the human body's ability to survive. It was by all accounts a miracle anyone survived that crash. Both pilots were a case study for USAARL (United States Army Aviation Research Labratory, the place that produces all the flight surgeons) for their entire careers. When I caught up with Rob in Iraq in 2006 he told me every time he gets a new flight surgeon they all do the same thing, they look at his file and then look up at him and say, "You're the one!"

    I had a couple of things going for me as the defacto AMC at this point, my team was awesome, well trained, and very professional. Russ and Chris had established comms with the inbound medivac helicopter and were relaying the critical information (nine line medivac format) to the aircrew. The ground guys (armored cavalry 2/2 ACR out of fort Polk, LA had already identified a soccor field nearby that could be used as an LZ/PZ (landing zone pick up zone). Chris had lazed the center of the soccor field (I got in trouble for this too as I recall. We weren't allowed to used military grade lasers in a non combat environment) and got an accurate 8 digit grid that he was able to store and send to the inbound blackhawk. By the time the Blackhawk landed the ground guys had Caz and Rob postured to board/load the medivac. They had gotten Caz down off the side of the mountain by putting him in a sleeping bag and sliding him down. God answered my prayer by sending a special forces A team to the site that just happened to be in the woods overlooking the delegation in close proximity to where the bird went down. The team was literally on scene in minutes from impact (my Intel people felt we couldn't be trusted with that information so we were unaware of their presence on the battlefield.). Special forces A teams have 18D's (special forces medics trained to the surgical level with full trauma kits). Whoever this guy was saved Caz's life. I would love to buy this guy a lot of beers at the national.

    Once Caz and Rob were loaded up and headed back to Tuzla Main my team was bingo and went back to the FARP. We arrived to see Brad and Mike, the lone Kiowa Warrior helicopter, at idle to save gas, waiting. I looked in their cockpit as we fueled up, they were pretty shaken up, and quiet. After refuel I updated them on Caz and Rob's status, they seemed a little better. We took off as a team of three now back to Srebrencia to cover the rest of the convoy delegation mission. The delegation had high tailed it out of there and we were instructed to find the convoy and continue to provide cover until they got back safe inside the wire. We remained on station for another 4 hours. At one point Birdsell's helmet quit working, we had no comms in the cockpit. We found we were able to scream at the top of our lungs and be able to hear what each other said. As I still had a functional helmet I now had to make all radio calls. We finally landed back at base camp Comanche, Tuzla West, our three ship team, right beside the empty parking spot of Caz and Rob's bird. We shut down the aircraft and walked to the DFAC (dining facility) for dinner and hours of debriefs, sworn statements, and questions. Caz and Rob were already on their way to Longhnstul Germany. Everyone was worried about Caz.

    Caz was supposed to go on leave the day after that mission. He was supposed to meet his wife Olivia in Germany (she was German) as she was due to have their first child that week. Upon hearing the tragic news Olivia immediately went into labor. She delivered a beautiful baby girl who, if my math is right would be 18 now. After numerous surgeries Caz not only lived but came back up on flight status has three kids now I think, and is an airline pilot for delta that does the New York to Frankfurt route. They live in Germany. Rob retired in the Huntsville area as I recall, Russ lives in Thailand now I think, Chris and Mike both had very successful army careers.

    Caz and Rob hit the wires that day doing a mock run on a mob that was assaulting the delegation convoy. The mob was hurling rocks and throwing boulders and Molotov cocktails from the side of the mountain down on the convoy. They took that action in a show of force to push the mob off of the convoy who's protection that day was our mission. The entire event was filmed from multiple cameras, from the ground and from our cockpits.

    These are the untold stories of unsung heros lost to the ravages of only a few decades of time. No medals were handed out, no accolades. Like I've said, butt chewings all around for our actions that day. I've seen Caz several times since, he's very happy, rides Ducaties and BMW motorcycles, is a millionaire. He's a great guy, has offered to bring me over to Germany for vacation, I've yet to take him up on any of his offers. I'm very happy for him and Olivia, Rob, and everyone else on the team that day. They performed flawlessly under very difficult circumstances and brought everyone home.
    Last edited by rangerreece; 06-21-2016 at 10:20 PM.
    R. Reece Mullins Ebony R1200RT (Gretchen)
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    MOA Charter Club #5 #364 #100
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  10. #325
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    great tale Reece!

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