More than one hundred New York Army National Guard members were deployed to Kuwait last month. The Soldiers headed for Ft. Hood, Texas, to conduct additional training before officially being stationed in Kuwait. The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation, has elements at the Albany International Airport in Latham, New York, and at Ronkonkoma.
Major General Thomas Spencer, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, the Battalion’s higher headquarters, praised the Soldiers at a June Ronkonkoma, Long Island farewell event. “They are ensuring that our friends and allies in the region see the support of the United States and our allies to build and strengthen partnerships and relationships to mutual benefit in the region,” Spencer said.
The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation is an assault helicopter battalion that flies the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The Soldiers train to move military personnel and equipment around a battlefield or perform administrative aviation support. The UH-60M is the latest version of the Black Hawk helicopter, which has been in service since the early 1980s. The UH-60M has a digital cockpit and upgraded systems.
The Battalion will be in Kuwait and the Middle East for about ten months providing support to United States Central Command and operating in Kuwait and Iraq.
The 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation deployed to Iraq in 2008-1009 and to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf area in 2013-2014. The Battalion also deployed aircraft and crews to Puerto Rico in the wake of a 2017 Hurricane to provide aid. The Battalion’s aviators have been involved in New York State’s responses to Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricanes Irene and Lee in 2011. Aircrews assigned to the Battalion are also called upon to conduct firefighting operations when the New York State Police aviation unit requires assistance.