“Ready for Chinook” Print
READY FOR A CHINOOK, depicts a CH-47D Chinook doing a ‘blowing snow’ landing in the Tanana Flats, just North of the Alaska Range. The Chinook flight engineer is looking back to ‘call the snow’ for the pilots. A crew chief in a UH-60 A Blackhawk over watches the Landing Zone with his M60D door gun.
Both aircraft belong to the 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment, based at Fort Wainwright, in the Alaskan Interior. They train throughout Alaska with 6th Infantry Division (Light) soldiers, the Alaska National Guard and the Air Force in an arctic environment where temperatures of 60 degrees below zero are not unusual. The Chinook helicopter’s interior provides the same welcome relief from the cold as the warm wind of the same name.
For many of the soldiers from the lower 48, this exposure to Alaska is the first step in a metamorphosis. Some will never leave and slowly ‘go native.’ This Blackhawk crew chief is quite a ways down that path.