DVIDS – News – NH National Guard Volunteer Search and Rescue Team

More than 150 volunteer search and rescue teams from across New Hampshire gather at the Cannon Mountain base for annual training with state police, Fish and Game and Army Aviation. Among those participants were eight members of the NH National Guard team.

The objective of the annual training is to create a team network, while familiarizing participants with various aspects of rescues such as land navigation, the use of GPS, waste transport, winch and aircraft safety. , etc.

About two years in the making, the National Guard VSAR Team is the newest search and rescue team in Granite State and on the Volunteer Council for NH.

“This is our first time training with the New Hampshire National Guard Search and Rescue Team,” said Lt. James Kneeland, District 3 Supervisor and Fish Search and Rescue Coordinator. and game. “Their experience will be an asset for the future of training.”

When asked how it felt to see the team on the march, Kneeland said he was looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

Although there is a long-standing relationship between Fish and Game and Army National Guard MEDEVAC air units to rescue injured hikers, VSAR is only now coming to fruition.

For pilots, like Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Wareing, 238th Aviation Regiment (MEDEVAC), knowing that other guardsmen are on the ground as volunteers provides a level of comfort for him and his team.

“It was really exciting to land today and see soldiers and airmen here learning how to conduct this research and provide this asset to us and our state partners,” Wareing said. “These military are going to make us more capable and capable, and help us do our part of the mission better.”

Wareing, who led countless rescue missions as a former medic and team leader before becoming a pilot, said he believed the NHNG team could relay information from military operations to civilians on the ground. , because they have the knowledge to understand what to do and where. go.

“What I like the most is that this team is organized,” Kneeland said, adding that they understand the fundamentals of receiving an order and executing it. “It’s comforting to know, without a doubt, what we’re telling them is going to happen.”

He added that he too believed that due to the military training they had undergone, the NHNG team started out with a higher experience and knowledge base than the average volunteer.

Commanding Sgt. Maj. William Ferland, State CSM for the NHNG and behind-the-scenes coordinator for the NHNG VSAR team, emulated those feelings and enthusiasm for the training that took place that day.

“Without volunteers, we cannot accomplish our mission,” Kneeland said. “Search and rescue doesn’t do as well without them.”

Two of the participating National Guard volunteers were Privates 1st Class Jordan Graham and James Small.

“I saw this as an opportunity to do more for individuals at a closer level,” said Small, a mechanic with the 3643rd Brigade Support Battalion, 197th Field Artillery Brigade.

Graham, a firefighter in his civilian career and fire control specialist with Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 103rd Field Artillery Regiment, agreed.

“I love New Hampshire and I love the people here,” Small said. “It’s part of my responsibility to give back to them because they gave me such a beautiful place to live.”

Last year, 4,816 volunteer hours were spent on coordinated search and rescue missions across the state.

“I’ve learned so much from my community members,” Graham said. “Being able to be there for them when needed and knowing that I can help them makes me smile.”

Date taken: 09.10.2022
Date posted: 09.12.2022 09:21
Story ID: 429032

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Brandon D. James