United States Army 12th Combat Aviation Brigade by cqb96228

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 4

									                                                                           NewsRelease
                                                                            United States Army
                                                                       12th Combat Aviation Brigade
                                                                                   Public Affairs Office
                                                                                www.12cab.eur.army.mil
                                                                           Logistics Support Area – Anaconda
                                                                               APO AE 09391 (Balad, Iraq)
                                                                               Voice: DSN 318.483.2079


                                                                                                             August 20, 2007
                                                                                                       Release No. 200708-07

12th CAB female Soldiers take combat role head on

Sgt. Brandon Little, 12th CAB Public Affairs

      S p c . Lopez, S pc. R obinson, a nd Sgt. Mc Cla in ha ve a ll unde r gone thor o u g h

t r a i n i n g f o r t h e l a s t f e w mo n t h s f o r a r i s k y a s s i g n me n t . T h e i r a s s i g n me n t :

h e l p d e f e n d t h e 1 2 t h C o mba t A v i a t i o n B r i g a d e ’ s a i r c r a f t aga i n s t e n e m y

a t t ac k s .

           A n e n e my c o u l d f i r e a t a h e l i c o p t e r w i t h a n y t h i n g f r o m ma c h i n e g u n s t o

s h o u l d e r - f i r e d mi s s i l e s .

           Knowing this, these A Co. 5-158th G e n e r a l A v i a t i o n S u p p o r t B a t t a l i o n

S o l d i e r s , r o s e t o t he c h a l l e n ge a nd volunte e r e d f or the da nge r ous ta sk.

           T h e s e t h r e e f e ma l e S o l d i e r s a r e h e l i c o p t e r d o o r - g u n n e r s .

           T h e y a r e p a r t o f a g r o u p o f S o l d i e r s that the 12th CAB is training for

the additional duty of door gunner on its aircraft. Door-gunners are the

p r i ma r y s o u r c e o f d e f e n s e f o r U H - 6 0 B l a c k h a w k s a n d C H - 4 7 C h i n o o k s

a g a i n st a t t a c k s .

           “My parents are still in shock about my job,” said Spc. Stephanie

Robinson.

           Wi t h t h e i n c r e a s e d n u mb e r o f a i r c r a f t tha t ha ve be e n shot down, a d o o r -

gunner has to be prepared to fire.
          “ I t ’ s k i n d o f s c a r y t o t h i n k a b o u t b e in g s h o t a t , b u t i f t h e y s h o o t a t me

I’m going to shoot back,” said Spc. Lisa Lopez.

           L o p e z , a n d o t h e r g u n n e r s , o p e r a t e a M 2 4 0 ma c hi n e g u n t o r e t u r n f i r e

to the enemy. This weapon can thrust m o r e t h a n 8 0 0 r o u n d s p e r mi n u t e a t a

t a r g e t a n d i t w e i g h s mo r e t h a n 2 5 p o u n d s .

          B u t b e f o r e t h e y c a n s i t i n a gu n n e r ’ s s e a t , e a c h pe r s o n mus t g o t h r o ug h

m o n t h s o f t r ai n i n g a n d mu l t i p l e q u a l i fi c a t i o n s t a g e s .

          “ I h a v e go t t e n t h e c h a n c e t o f l y t h r e e o r f o u r t i me s s o f a r , ” s a i d S g t .

Shandell McClain.

          R o b i n s o n i s t h e o nl y o n e o f t h e t h r ee w h o h a s r e a c h e d t he l e v el o f

q u a l i f i c a t i o n t o f l y w i t h o u t an instructor present.

          “ O u t t h e r e , I ’ m c o n s t a n t l y s c a n n ing r oof - tops a nd the gr ound to f ind

s o me t h i n g o u t o f t h e o r d i n a r y , ” s a i d R ob i n s o n . “ Y o u r e a l l y h a v e t o f o c u s o u t

t h e r e be c a u s e t h e pil o t s r e l y on u s a l o t .”

          T h e h e i g h t a n d s p e e d a t w h i c h t h e se a ir c r a f t tr a ve l c a n a llow a gunn e r

o n l y a ma t t e r o f s e c o n d s t o d e c i d e w h e th e r a t a r g e t i s h o s t i l e a n d i f t h e y

sh o u l d f i r e.

          “ We t r y t o i n s t i l l s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e a n d m o t i v a t i o n ( i n d o o r g u n n e r s ) t o

a l l o w t h em t o ma k e t h e d e cis i o n t h e y fe e l i s ri ght a n d s t an d b y i t , ” s a i d S g t .

1 s t C l a s s M a r v i n Me e k s , a f o r me r f light instr uc tor f or 5- 158th.

          M e e k s w a s o n e o f t h e i n s t r u c t o r s who he lpe d tr a in Lope z , Mc Cla in an d

Robinson. He is now their platoon sergeant.

          “ T h e y ’ r e d o i n g a p r e t t y g o o d j o b , ” h e s a i d . “ We d o n ’ t g i v e t h e m a n y

s p e c i a l f a v o r s j u st b e c a u s e t h e y ’ r e f e ma l e s . ”

          A S o l d i e r i s a S o l di e r , a n d n ot h i n g el s e ma t t e r s ex c e p t t r y i n g t o ma k e i t

h o me s a f e , s a i d S p c . L a mo n A . Wi l l i a ms , a c r e w c h i e f i n 5 - 1 5 8 t h .
           “ A w o ma n c a n d o e v e r y j o b i n t h e Ar my just a s good a s a ny ma n, a n d

we get just as dirty as them everyday,” said Robinson.

          A l l t h r e e o f t h e s e g u n n e r s should get plenty of oppor tunitie s to f ly an d

d e f e n d 1 2 t h C A B ’ s a i r c r a f t d u r i n g t h i s d e p l o y me n t .

          “ I t ’ s a w h o l e l o t s a f e r t h a n driving,” said McClain.



PHOTOS WITH CUTLINES (2):




DCS 0142
Spc. Lisa M. Lopez, Spc. Stephanie Robinson and Sgt. Shandell McClain, from A Co. 5-158th General Aviation
Support Battalion stand with one of the UH-60 Blackhawks they will have to protect. They are female door-gunners
in the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. Photo by Sgt. Brandon Little
DCS 0143.1
Spc. Lisa M. Lopez, Spc. Stephanie Robinson and Sgt. Shandell McClain, from A Co. 5-158th General Aviation
Support Battalion stand with one of the UH-60 Blackhawks they will have to protect. They are female door-gunners
in the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. Photo by Sgt. Brandon Little

								
To top