U.S. Army Aviation Branch celebrates 38 years of service

COLUMBIA, SUMTER CO. (WOLO): Retired aviator, Robert Moody, served with the U.S. Army’s Aviation branch for 25 years, working as a Pilot in Command, and Air Mission Commander. 

Monday’s 38th birthday celebration of the U.S. Army’s Aviation branch was a sentimental reminder of his brothers and sisters in combat. 

“Aviation is very special to me. I served with a lot of good aviators, a lot of good Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice. So it just reminds me, being a part of the Aviation Corp I’m very proud of, but it really reminds me of their sacrifice and the price they had to pay, and the price their family had to pay for our freedom,” said Moody.

To mark the occasion, soldiers part of the U.S. Airforce, U.S. Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Central teamed up to train in an emergency preparedness exercise, including the safe set-up and landing of army helicopters.

“Here we’ll see 3 different types of U.S. Army Aircraft coming in. You’ll have a Chinook, a Blackhawk, and an Apache,” explained Public Affairs Officer, Paul O’Daniel. 

“The Air Force personnel don’t get that much of an opportunity to train on army helicopters. For some of them, this will be the first time they’ve actually been up close and seen those aircraft in operation,” said CW4 Shon Thompson, USARCENT’s Aviation Mission Survivability Officer.

Officials say this hands-on opportunity allows these soldiers to get familiar with the aircraft before a possible emergency situation down range. 

“It’s opportunities like this that can help the participants later. You have people here, in America, in South Carolina, in Sumter, being able to come together and train together and practice together, that way we can be more efficient and ready later.”

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