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May 25, 2012

Spotlight

B Company, 6th Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment

(Editor’s note: “SPOTLIGHT” is a continuing series about tenant activities and missions at Fort McCoy.)

What is it?
The Aviation Support Facility, Fort McCoy is home to B Company, 6th Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment. The reserve unit, whose headquarters is in Los Alamitos, Calif., is aligned under the 11th Aviation Command at Fort Knox, Ky.
PHOTO: aviators with B Company, 6th Battalion, 52nd Regiment, walk alongside a C-12 Huron aircraft at the Fort McCoy/Sparta airport. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Krist Beseler and Maj. Gregory Senn, aviators with B Company, 6th Battalion, 52nd Regiment, walk alongside a C-12 Huron aircraft as it is towed from the hangar to the airstrip at the Fort McCoy/Sparta airport. The aviators were preparing to conduct a maintenance test flight on the aircraft. (Photo by Geneve N. Mankel)

B Company, 6th, 52nd runs a 24/7 operation that supports air transport of military personnel and federal employees who have a legitimate and validated reason for government-related travel.

The unit has four C-12 Huron fixed-wing, twin-engine, turboprop passenger aircraft. Three are located at Fort McCoy, and one is currently deployed in Qatar. The C-12 is manned by a two-person crew and can accommodate eight passengers.

Full-time unit members are comprised of military technicians, Active Guard/Reserve members and maintenance contractors.

They provide support for the day-to-day operations of the unit and air missions assigned to the B Company, 6th, 52nd. Soldiers belonging to the unit also conduct battle drill training monthly, annual training and additional flight training period support.

The main area of operation for the B Company, 6th, 52nd is the northern central and eastern U.S., however, the unit can fly missions throughout the nation as needed. Past missions also have included flights to the Caribbean and Canada.

What have they done?
B Company 6th, 52nd became a tenant organization at Fort McCoy in 1995 when it was relocated to Fort McCoy from Glenview Naval Air Station Ill., as a result of a Navy Base Realignment and Closure action.

As part of the move, the Aviation Support Facility was constructed at the Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport to house the unit and its aircraft.

Personnel needing air transportation support must submit a request to a travel validator.

If approved, the request is then sent to the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center (JOSAC) for scheduling. The receiving aviation unit, which may be the 6th, 52nd, then executes the mission.

The members of B Company, 6th, 52nd are a deployable asset.

Since 1996 unit members have deployed to Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq.

The unit also has conducted training missions in Korea, Germany, Africa and Alaska.

What do they have planned?
With the winding down of operations in Iraq, B Company, 6th, 52nd anticipates fewer deployments for its personnel in the near future.

This will allow the unit to focus on its stateside mission of providing air-transportation services. The unit now is flying more than 200 hours each month, with 80 percent of its missions being JOSAC support missions.

Why are they important?
Because of its mission, B Company, 6th, 52nd is put into contact with many customers who are impressed with the quality of service provided by the reserve unit. The experience level of the pilots within the unit is very high because many of the pilots have civilian careers as commercial airline pilots.

The unit’s central location allows it to provide services to a geographically wide-range of customers.

Resources:
For more information about B Company, 6th, 52nd, call 608-388-5641.

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