1st Battalion, 189th Aviation
The Montana National Guard's 1-189th (Combat Support Aviation Battalion), nicknamed "The Vigilantes", fly the UH-60A Black Hawk. This helicopter, built by United Technologies Sikorsky Aircraft, has the highest state of the art technology to perform in today's modern battlefield. The Black Hawks can fly soldiers to and from the battle zone, fight forest fires here in Montana, and provide much needed supplies to victims of natural disasters.
The B Company, 1-189 Combat Support Aviation Battalion is located in Boise at Gowen Field, ID. The missions of the National Guard differ from the Army in that the National Guard typically supports three missions instead of one primary mission. The Wartime Mission is to provide movement of personnel and equipment for combat support and combat service support corps aviation Brigade operations. The State Mission is to provide units/personnel trained and equipped for immediate deployment in support of natural disasters and civil disturbances within the State of Idaho as an aid to civil authorities. The Community Support Mission is to provide units/personnel in support of community events/activities.
Members of the unit share a common thread: loyalty to one another and to the reputation of their unit. Each new soldier is mentored and trained by experienced and exceptional trainers.
As Utah's only lift helicopter company, the Company is always on the move. The aviators and crewmembers of the unit's seven, UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are so busy supporting other units, they never find themselves short of challenges. During training year 1999, the unit trained extensively in the difficult task of multi-ship external load operations with night vision goggles. During the next training year, the unit will focus much of their attention on Tactical Operations to become more of an asset to the 19th Special Forces Group. In addition to preparing for combat missions, the Blackhawk crews support the community by fighting fires, engaging in drug interdiction activities, and performing search, rescue and VIP transport.
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