Boeing Chinook News from Iowa





          Davenport Chinooks to get anti-missile upgrade



             Washington, 15 May 2004: The Army will install advanced missile avoidance devices on the CH-47D Chinook helicopters flown by National Guard soldiers from Davenport, though not all may be finished before the unit returns home.

             The upgrades come following complaints lodged by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, that the Army had yet to install the devices on eight of the 13 helicopters flown by Company F, 106th Aviation Regiment. The company is based in Peoria and has a detachment at the Mount Joy airport outside Davenport.

             The Army told Sen. Durbin that it will send a team from Germany to begin installing the devices next week. Known as the ALE-47, the device fires decoy flares and chaff to pull heat-seeking missiles away from helicopters.

             It will be an upgrade to a system already used by the company, the ALQ-156, that was installed on all of the company's helicopters by last September.

             The Iowa detachment referred questions to its Peoria headquarters. Comment was not immediately available from officers there, however.

             Sen. Durbin called the development good news, but also criticized the Bush administration for spending $90 million on the war to date but still working to get soldiers armored Humvees, body armor and updated helicopter protection.

             "If it goes on according to schedule, all the helicopters will be properly equipped on the day when they are supposed to leave Iraq," he said of the 106th.

             The company suffered the death of three crew members along with 13 passengers when one of its helicopters was shot down by a surface-to-air missile last November in Iraq. The helicopter had the ALQ-156 but not the ALE-47.

             According to the Defense Department, the system fired flares but was still hit by one of two missiles launched as it flew between 200 and 300 feet above the ground.

             The company's helicopters were to be fitted with the systems upon their return to the United States last month, but the unit had its tour in Iraq extended up to an additional four months. It was first mobilized in February 2003.

             In a description by the Army given to Sen. Durbin, each installation takes about three weeks and requires 600 hours of labor.




          Guard Extends Iraq Duty For Iowa Soldiers

Davenport Unit Mobilized Another 120 Days



             Johnston, Iowa, 16 April 2004: An Iowa Army National Guard unit based in Davenport is one of several Guard and Army Reserve units notified late Thursday that its mobilization will be extended for 120 days.

             Spokesman Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood said Detachment 1, Company F, 106th Aviation, Iowa Army National Guard is among those units chosen for an extension.

             Approximately 70 soldiers from the 106th were mobilized in February 2003 and departed Iowa shortly afterward for their mobilization station at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, before deploying to Iraq.

             The unit is a medium-lift helicopter unit that flies the CH-47D "Chinook" helicopter. Hapgood said the extension will affect approximately 3,300 Army National Guard soldiers from 20 different units spread over 12 states.

             More than 2,300 soldiers in the Iraq theater of operations will be affected by this extension. Of that number, National Guard and Reserve personnel comprise approximately 25 percent of the extended units.




          Davenport, Iowa



             6 February 2003: The Davenport based Iowa National Guard unit called to active duty will host a send-off ceremony at 8 p.m. on Friday at the detachment's base, 9650 Harrison St.

             The unit, made up of 100 pilots and soldiers, will leave for Fort Campbell, Kentucky, at 10 p.m., spokesman Colonel Robert King said. The public is welcome to attend. The Quad-City detachment flies the CH-47D Chinook helicopter. The crew will be responsible for transporting personnel, equipment and supplies in an as yet unannounced location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the war on terrorism.

             The soldiers were called to active duty for a one year period under President Bush's orders, which can be extended to two years by the Secretary of the Army, Col. King said.

             Nationally, more than 111,600 National Guard and Reservists are serving, according to the numbers released Wednesday by the Pentagon. That includes 80,000 in the Army, 12,300 in the Marines, 11,700 in the Air Force, 5,600 in the Navy and 2,000 in the Coast Guard.

             More than 1,000 Iowa National Guard members are on active duty, including the Davenport unit and the 1555th Quartermaster Detachment from Dubuque, Iowa, Col. King said.

             An aviation maintenance unit in Boone was alerted for possible active duty Wednesday, he said. Company D, 109th Aviation, includes 240 people, 190 assigned to the Iowa National Guard and 50 to the Wisconsin Army National Guard. It served on active duty from October 2001 through September 2002 at Fort Campbell.



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