FORT CARSON, Colo. – Soldiers with Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division conducted High Altitude Mountainous Environmental Training Strategy, or HAMETS, in late November and early December at Fort Carson, Colo.
The task force, which consists of members from the various battalions within the CAB, conducted the training in anticipation of a deployment to Afghanistan.
The training provided TF Saber pilots an opportunity to work in a similar environment to what they will face downrange.
“Coming here in the mountains, flying at 12,000, 14,000 feet helps us replicate what we might have to encounter in Afghanistan,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dwayne Williams, UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot, TF Saber. “We come up here to be more precise in our flying abilities.”
Pilots first conducted individual training that focused on improving their personal skills and giving them an understanding of how their aircraft will behave in higher elevations.
“It gives you a lot of awareness of what’s going on and how weather can really affect and change what you have to do in the mountain areas,” said 1st Lt.
Andres Pazmin, UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot, TF Saber.
After pilots were qualified individually, the focus shifted to collective training. TF Saber’s equipment consists of OH-58 Kiowa, AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, which operate in close proximity to each other, refining the proficiency needed by the pilots for success.
The improved capabilities of TF Saber will be beneficial to Soldiers on the ground, who are supported by the task force during deployment.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jereme Leason, OH-58 Kiowa helicopter pilot, TF Saber, said Soldiers on the ground and pilots in the air share similar risks when executing missions.
“We put ourselves in harm’s way; we know they do, too,” he said.
Training at Fort Carson provided a similar environment to Afghanistan, giving pilots an idea of what they will be capable of doing in support of missions downrange.
“After two weeks of being here, I feel completely confident in flying in the mountains,” Leason said. “And, not only that, I can use it to my advantage when making an approach to a landing on one of those peaks.”
By Sgt. Keven Parry
CAB Public Affairs
A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter assigned to TF Saber, CAB, makes a banking maneuver Dec. 10 during HAMETS in the mountains of Fort Carson, Colo.
Sgt. Keven Parry | CAB
A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew chief assigned to TF Saber, CAB, observes the landing zone tree line during a simulated air assault mission as part of HAMETS Dec. 10 at Fort Carson, Colo.
Sgt. Keven Parry | CAB