Well, by Thursday you would have thought some of the excitement around the Southern Maryland Aviation & Career Camp 2016 would have been slowing down, but not so! At around 11:00 am, the campers loaded-up and left for Trooper 7, Maryland State Police Aviation Detachment, St. Mary’s County. But just as they turned onto Route 4 for the 40-minute drive to visit the detachment, at St. Mary’s County Airport,camp co-director and Army Specialist James Hughes, noticed an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter flying directly towards the group on Route 4.
Well, I didn’t immediately know what a “AW139” was, but I did recognize a helicopter with the distinctive Maryland State Police color scheme of green, black and gold flying above us. Hughes, an Army Black Hawk Helicopter crew chief in the North Carolina Army National Guard and an ambitious student pilot with a zeal for aviation, had immediately recognized it.
Then only, moments later, I got a note from Maryland State Police Sgt. David Svites informing me, “the crew was just dispatched for a metered (mission) and should return around 1230 to 1300 hours.” The visit was pushed back as the crew would be attending to an emergency medical evacuation mission in Calvert County (where we had just had left from), taking a patient to a Prince Georges County trauma center.
The crew eventually completed the mission, returned to the airfield, and immediately began to share their insights on their morning and its other aviation missions which include search and rescue, law enforcement, and a vital homeland security role. For the campers this trip went beyond just a simple visit and discussion, to giving them a personal experience with the important evacuation mission that Trooper 7 had just performed and the overall support it provides the Southern Maryland community.
After a stop at our favorite summer hangout- RITA’s, we’re off again. This time to try our hand at our own airplanes and a little video production.
by Camp Director, Colonel Will Wiggins, USA (Retired)