Savannah residents are surrounded by components of aviation, oftentimes seeing military aircrafts conducting training or aiding in missions within the community.
The aviation service members are deeply integrated into air operations necessary for rescues and more regular tasks which make them an integral part of the Coastal Empire.
Photo by Ashley Duncan
Noelle Wiehe Connect Savannah editor, attempts to fly a simulated CH-47 chinook cargo aircraft March 19 on Hunter Army Airfield during their media day.
Service members and the public affairs office of Hunter Army Airfield welcomed media representatives from around the Hostess City to participate in a day of experiencing aviation through the instruction and aid of active-duty soldiers and service members.
“I appreciate you all taking the time to come find out about our community here,” said Lt. Col. Steve Bolton, garrison commander for Hunter Army Airfield. “We have a number of tenant units on this post that all have a variety of missions.”
Photo by Noelle Wiehe
Media attend a day of simulated flying March 19 on Hunter Army Airfield.
Hunter Army Airfield, before it was Hunter, was the birthplace of aviation in Savannah. It was named in 1940 for Frank O’Driscoll Hunter, a WWI flying ace and a native of Savannah.
“This has been a place where Army aviation has worked, lived, thrived and then deployed all over the world,” Bolton said. “Army aviation has really been part in parcel of our military here in Savannah going back over 80 years.”
Hunter Army Airfield currently has every force represented, except for the Space Force, Bolton said, making it “… almost a joint base.”
“What we wanted to do was showcase some of the varying missions and varying branches of the military on the installation to really give the community an idea of what it is that we do here, specifically focusing on the aviators,” said Daniel Malta, Hunter Army Airfield public affairs representative.
Media representatives were broken into teams, where they were assisted by soldiers and Coast Guardsmen as they operated simulated aviation vehicles.
Connect Savannah was placed in and trusted to fly a CH-47 F, or cargo chinook simulated aircraft. Other representatives were put into a UH-60, UH-60 L, UH-60 M and an AH-64 E or attack “guardian.”
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Katie Petrosky an aviator pilot with 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Regiment, spearheaded the instruction in the chinook, including reacting to malfunctions her fellow pilot, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steve Barton, 2-3 GSAR, would put on her aircraft for training purposes.
“If we have actual emergencies come up, we address those here as opposed to being surprised the first time we get them in the aircraft,” Barton said.
Photo by Noelle Wiehe
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard speak about aviation in the area March 19 during a media day on Hunter Army Airfield.
The two spoke of their mission later in the week where their unit would aid in moving buoys back into the ocean for the Coast Guard at a local island.
“The nice part of being here in Savannah, especially specifically on the airfield, we have a wide variety of people we can work with,” Barton said.
Representatives also met with service members of the Coast Guard to learn about why they joined, what a normal day looks like and see static displays of various aircrafts.
“It’s very important to us that we are able to tell our story,” Bolton said. “We are an integrated part of Savannah.”