June 29, 2013

California National Guard 1-140th Aviation Battalion Returns from Iraq

California will celebrate the homecoming of 300 members of the California National Guard on Monday.

The 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion,140th Aviation Regiment was part of the operation, Task Force Long Knife, its members were involved in several missions in Iraq.

The ballalion fixed, refueled, and supplied arms to 60 Black Hawk Helicopters and 20 fixed wing aircraft as they operated from three bases located in Baghdad and as far north as Mosul, Iraq.

The soldiers will be flying into the Los Alamitos Army Airfield after being deployed in Iraq for a year long mission.

Read more:
LA Times
Task Force Long Knife Slices Through Deployment

National Guard Helicopter Crash Kills 2 Pilots

“In a fiery crash into power lines in rural Campbell County, two Tennessee Army National Guard pilots lost their lives on Saturday. Lt. Thomas Joseph Williams Jr. and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Cole died when the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter they were flying crashed near the Royal Blue Recreation Area, 30 miles north of Knoxville, as they were conducting a routine military exercise.

National Guard Helicopter Crash Kills 2 Pilots

LaFollette Utility officials reported that over 5,000 customers lost power as a result of the crash. Power company workers were able to restore electricity in about two hours.

Lt. Williams and CWO Cole, both from Knoxville, were members of the 1-230th Armored Cavalry Squadron at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base south of Knoxville, TN. CWO Cole was a highly experienced instructor pilot who saw duty in Iraq and Kosovo during his more than 20 years in the Guard. Lt. Williams had been with the Guard for three years.

Army investigators have not concluded the cause of the accident and the site is still restricted. The Kiowa Warrior, though, is the center of a multi-million dollar lawsuit involving two other 1/230 pilots killed in a crash in Iraq in 2010. In that suit, the helicopter’s electronic control system is faulted by the petitioners, who also allege that the makers of the helicopter were negligent in rectifying defective and unsafe conditions.

The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Reconnaissance / Attack Helicopter is a regular workhorse in active-duty military organizations, but only National Guard unit in the United States to use the Keowa Warrior is Tennessee.

CWO Cole was extremely professional and considered and excellent aviator. Lt. Williams had completed a degree at the University of Tennessee before enlisting in the National Guard so that he could pursue his passion for flying. Both were well-liked and popular with the community.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam proclaimed a state of mourning for the two pilots and committed to fully support all agencies involved in the investigation. Tennessee National Guard Mag. Gen Max Haston expressed deep sorrow for the soldiers and their families.

Funerals for both soldiers are planned for later this week in Knowxville.”

Knoxville News Sentinel

Friend talks about fallen Guardsman killed in helicopter crash

Two dead in TN National Guard helicopter crash

Kiowa Warrior

McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base

Citigroup Sued For National Guard Foreclosure

“Jorge Rodriguez is a sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard who served an eleven month tour of duty in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. While he was serving his country, Citigroup bank foreclosed on his home. A fact he was unaware of until he returned from active duty in August of 2007.

Citigroup Sued For National Guard Foreclosure

In response to the foreclosure, Sergeant Rodriguez has filed a lawsuit against CitiMortgage in federal court in Manhattan in an attempt to gain a class-action status for other similar foreclosures initiated against active duty military personnel.

Rodriguez contends these foreclosures are a violation of federal law as outlined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003. The suit alleges that members of the armed forces were unfairly subjected to foreclosure and seeks return of property as well as compensation for loss and punitive judgments.”

Additional information at:

Reuters

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act