Friday, April 04, 2014

Military Training Exercise Saturday at Pinnacle Mountain

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A military training exercise takes place for an hour Saturday morning at Pinnacle Mountain.

The Arkansas National Guard says it will involve soldiers and aviators from the it’s 77th Theater Aviation Brigade at Camp Robinson.

During the hour-long exercise that begins at 10 a.m., participants will conduct an aerial hoist rescue that involves an Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

The Guard says the training will incorporate the rescue of individuals simulating injured or stranded personnel in remote locations. The hoist locations will include a wooded area part way up the mountain and a location near the North Summit of Pinnacle Mountain.

The purpose of the training is to assist Army National Guard helicopter crews in attaining experience and developing expertise in the dynamics of mountainside rescue. Hovering the aircraft and managing the rescue by hoist of injured individuals in a remote location is one level of training. It is made more difficult by the wind updrafts over mountainous terrain.

The National Guard, by nature of the training and unique equipment, is frequently involved in search and rescue operations, disaster recovery operations and homeland security assistance. Training such as this helps ensure these citizen-Soldiers are trained and ready when our fellow Arkansans need assistance.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola moved Friday to alert the public about the exercise.Little Rock and

“Residents on and around Pinnacle Mountain Saturday should rest assured that the helicopter is part of an Arkansas National Guard training exercise, not a rogue incursion from a neighboring country trying to take control of Pulaski County’s tallest point,” Stodola amusingly said while looking over tactical terrain maps. “I am proud that Arkansas’s brave citizen soldiers are always training to be prepared for whatever disaster emergency to which they may be called.”

Also on Saturday, starting at noon, Guard officials say there will be live mortar fire training at its Robinson Manuever Training Center in North Little Rock.

It will involve soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The training will continue until 11 Saturday evening.

It will take place on the northeast side of Camp Robinson near Cato, and south of Arkansas Hwy. 89.

The sound of the mortar fire will likely carry outside Camp Robinson's perimeter and may potentially cause concern in the surrounding area. 

Communities in proximity to the training area which may hear or feel effects of the training beyond the borders of the post include: Cato, Mayflower, Runyon Acres, Gravel Ridge, and Oak Grove.