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JTF-Bravo, Army South conduct large formation helicopter exercise in Honduras

By Maria Pinel | Joint Task Force Bravo Public Affairs | June 2, 2020

COMAYAGUA, Honduras —

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo conducted a helicopter exercise May 28 out of Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The exercise involved participation from U.S. Army South’s 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment and the use of 10 U.S. Army CH-47 Chinooks and UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters.

This was a routine exercise conducted by the battalion for continuity of flight operations. The training allowed participants to test capabilities that are essential for enhanced performance during an emergency situation. Routine training such as flying in large flight formations are conducted in close coordination with the host nation and with prior approval.

“This large formation was an ideal opportunity to accomplish valuable routine multiship training,” said Capt. Ben Ferrell, 1-228 Aviation Regiment Air Mission commander. “Our battalion rarely has the opportunity to fly 10 helicopters in a single mission within Central America and this experience allowed us to boost readiness for pilots and the battalion as a whole.”

Typical missions for the 1-228 include humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, air movement of people, equipment and supplies, limited search and rescue, and medical evacuations.

In addition to these operations, the battalion has provided aerial firefighting capabilities and has actively participated in counter-narcotics missions and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief efforts in support of our partners throughout Central America and the Caribbean.

The 1-228 supports the U. S. Southern Command's engagement and security cooperation strategy under Army South, providing heavy lift, medical evacuation and general aviation support, spanning the area of responsibility, in support of JTF-Bravo.