My first deployment (Bosnia) gave me a great fondness for helicopters and photography. Therefore, I figured my first post on my new photography blog should be from there and highlight the amazing machines I learned to love.
The following pictures are from a multinational exercise in April of 2002. There were eight countries involved in the event where the mission was to practice joint tactical operations.
The entire mission was such an amazing experience for me. I got to eat a French MRE, ride in a Danish tank, make fresh bread on a campfire, see breathtaking mountains, and witness international friendships being built.
Spc. Larry Huff, aviation communications technician, prepares the rope used to pull up the antennae, which provided communications between the Americans, Danish and Polish soldiers.
Sgt. Freddy Rivera, UH-60 Blackhawk crew chief, prepares his M-60 machine gun for a multinational live-fire exercise.
A Blackhawk hovers over two refueling soldiers as they attach 500-gallon fuel containers.
Sgt. Sherwin Serrette, performs after-flight maintenance on his UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in the frigid cold at a tanker camp site near the border of Croatia.
Kiowa helicopters were used a lot while I was in Bosnia, but they only had two seats so I never flew in one of them.
A OH-58D Kiowa Warrior zooms across the sky securing the area for the UH-60 Blackhawks to come in.
A refueling technician waits as a Blackhawk is filled with gas between flights. Fuel was carried by helicopters to the mission site in 500-pound fuel bladders.
Pfc. Tony Luke, UH-60 Blackhawk crew chief, speaks to pilots before takeoff. The special head gear allows the crew to speak to each other as well as ground personnel throughout the flight
Portuguese soldiers, in full riot gear, are ready to board the American Blackhawks and German CH-53s.
Two “Blackjacks” land, carrying Polish infantry troops who were “rescued” during a combined live-fire exercise as American, Danish and Polish soldiers watch the exercise from behind.
My first deployment was filled with helicopters. I traveled a lot to photograph different units in action. The best missions were the aviation units though as the helicopters WERE my story.