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MD HART to the Search and Rescue

Photos by Spc. Catherine Gondeiro, 29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Two helicopter aquatic response teams are being deployed to Raleigh, North Carolina where they will report and begin search and rescue missions in affected areas. The two teams consist of two pilots, two crew chiefs, and two swift water rescue crew members. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Spc. Catherine Gondeiro)
HART crew chief Sgt. Joseph Leight explained that it takes about two-three minutes to send the hoist down and bring people up to safety. This will be his first real-life rescue mission in the four years he’s been flying.
Chief Warrant Officer 2James Cutrone prepares the UH-60 blackhawk helicopter for a practice run in Gunpowder, Maryland. Cutrone is a standardized instructor pilot for the Maryland National Guard.
The HART team deployed to South Carolina in 2016 for Hurricane Matthew. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Justin Evans said their primary concern upon arrival will be low ground where the initial flood surge has impacted the most. Evans asaid he feels confident about the situation they’re headed into because the teams train regularly to read possible signals for help, as well as, search patterns.
The swift water rescue crew is a civilian component that will accompany the HART team in their missions. The swift water team consists of members of the Harford County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore County fire departments.
The CH-47 Chinook helicopters will act as a taxi to transport cargo, troops, vehicles, and assist during rescue missions.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nobel said the biggest challenge their team faces during rescue missions is uncertainty. Nobel said they often don’t know what they’re picking up until they arrive to the location. It could be cargo, people, or vehicles so they really have to be ready for anything.
Spc. Scott Eaton smiles while helping his team members load cargo onto the Chinook for their deployment to North Carolina. Nobel says that the team is a very dedicated group that has put their personal lives on hold to serve and provide support for this rescue mission.
Maryland National Guard HART team deploys to North Carolina for Hurricane Florence