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N.C. Guard Aviation Trains with NCHART
By North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs
Photos by Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen, North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs
RALEIGH, N.C.  – How do you rescue someone who is trapped where no one should ever be? Practice, that’s how.  North Carolina National Guard aviators and civilian first responders train together with North Carolina Helo Aquatic and Rescue Teams and other state first responders in order to be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. 
            The teams bring emergency management personnel, first responders and NCNG aviators together for helicopter based rescues using NCNG UH-60 Blackhawks and UH-72 Lakota helicopters.
            “This is a great example of North Carolinians taking care of North Carolina,” said Tim Rogers, a battalion chief with the Charlotte Fire Department, after a recent exercise in Salisbury, N.C.
            They train on rescue operations including short-hauling patients, hoist operations and the integration of new rigging procedures.  
            “This is the ultimate team building and problem-solving exercise,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeff Gordon, a standardization officer for C/1-131st. Gordon works with N.C. HART bringing Army aviation tactics into the training making sure rescuers and crewmembers mesh for rescue operations.  
           The teams train across the state in various terrain and locations in order to keep skills sharp.
            “This type of training tests my skills to provide critical flying maneuvers to facilitate a rescue,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steven Helmandollar, a maintenance test pilot with C Company.
            Helmandollar said the HART training really challenges pilots to perform different variables of flying in order to adjust to the multiple types of environments where they conduct rescues. Some locations are very tight which allows for very little deviation and other locations may have obstacles like trees or rock faces that pilots must maintain proper room between patient, aircraft and the obstacle itself.
            N.C. HART training is conducted year-round in order to take care of those in need beyond the Hurricane season.
            The most recent training was held at with Denver, N.C., Fire Department and NCNG aviators of C Company, 1-131st Aviation at Lake Norman this week.
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EDITORS AND PRODUCERS:  To see more photos HART training go to our Flickr page at the following link:; For any questions, please contact the North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs Office at or by phone at (919) 664-6242.  For more NCNG news, visit our website: To become a Facebook fan of the NCNG, please visit or follow us on Twitter at To view additional pictures from this and other events, visit
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