|Boeing Chinook News from Nevada|
|Nevada Guard members headed abroad|
|Nevada Army Guard 1st Lt. Matt Jonkey and his wife Lisa hope their 11-month old daughter Emma learns to walk soon.|
|That’s so Emma’s father, a helicopter pilot based at Reno Stead Airport, can see her take those first steps before he heads overseas early next month.|
| “I’m pretty upset about it,” Lisa Jonkey said Friday after Guard officials announced that her husband’s unit, Company D, 113th Aviation, would deploy to somewhere near the Middle East as part of the war in Iraq. “I’m sad for him. He’ll miss a lot of ‘firsts’ — her first walking, her first words. We’re hoping she walks before he goes.”
The family milestones Matt Jonkey figures to miss start with Emma’s first birthday, January 9th.
|Company D, with 226 people and 12 CH-47D Chinook helicopters from Nevada and Oregon, will be overseas for up to 18 months.|
|“I think every one of us feels a duty,” said Matt Jonkey, a full-time Guard member for 12 years. “The hardest thing is being gone from the family. I’ll miss my daughter’s first birthday by about a week.”|
|It’s Company D’s first combat deployment, bringing the total of Nevada Army Guard soldiers deployed overseas and in the U.S. to 750 out of a total membership of 2,000.|
|“I’m excited about it,” said Capt. Roger Capps of Reno, Company D’s commanding officer. “It’s what I signed up for. Here we go.”|
|The company’s large transport helicopters will be used to carry soldiers, ammunition, food, water and other supplies.|
| Company D has been overseas twice before, on training assignments, once in Iceland and once on an island in the Caribbean.
But this time, it’s different.
|Normally, the helicopters have four-person crews — two pilots and two flight engineers. In Southwest Asia, each helicopter will carry extra crew members, two machine gunners, Matt Jonkey said.|
|“It’s definitely a combat zone,” Capps said of where the helicopters will be flying.|
|That worries Lisa Jonkey, a nurse at Washoe Medical Center, whose husband has been a helicopter pilot for eight years.|
| “I think when he leaves, the reality of where he’s going will sink in,” Lisa Jonkey said.
The two have been married for three years.
“This is the first time we’ve been apart,” Lisa Jonkey said.
|The company received its deployment orders in October. The unit has been preparing ever since. The equipment is packed. Ships and large cargo airplanes will take the helicopters to Southwest Asia.|
|The company includes 37 pilots, 38 flight engineers, about 80 maintenance specialists, with the rest working in a variety of office and other jobs.|
|“Basically, we’re going to be hauling troops, ammunition, water and food,” Capps said. “We’re the pickup trucks.”|
|Friday at Reno Stead Airport, inside a hanger where Company D keeps helicopters, Emma walked with the help of her parents. It looked like she’d soon by taking those first steps on her own.|
|Nevada Chinooks Receive Alert Orders|
|2 August 2004: Company D - "Mustangs", a CH-47D Chinook helicopter unit based at Stead Airport near Reno, has received alert orders and is now just waiting for mobilization orders, according to 1st Lt. April Conway. The 60+ member unit is part of the Army National Guard located in Nevada which currently has more than half of its total force of over 2,000 deployed in support of the "War on Terrorism".|
|29 June 2003: Above, Staff Sgt. Ken McLaughlin of Company D, 113th Aviation Regiment watches as SFC Brian Soule puts on his flight vest before their training exercise aboard a Chinook helicopter Sunday at the Reno-Stead Airport.|
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