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Press Release
September 04, 2002
National Guard sends two helicopters to aid in search
 
Salem - After receiving a request from the Oregon Emergency Management Office and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, the Oregon Army National Guard dispatched two helicopters to assist in the search for kayakers in the Owyhee River Canyon area near Rome, Oregon. One CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 168th Aviation Detachment in Pendleton and one UH-60 Blackhawk from the 1042nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance) in Salem, Ore. departed at approximately 1 p.m. today to assist in the search for the missing kayakers.
 
Both units fall under the 641st Medical Battalion headquartered in Salem at McNary Field. The 641st is commanded by Lt. Col. Tim Kelly.
 
The CH-47 is piloted by Capt. Sean Pierce of Pendleton with co-pilot Chief Warrant Officer 2 Russell Smith. Crew members include, Sgt. 1st Class Scott McCoy-flight engineer, Sgt. Scott Doran-crew chief and flight medic, Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Merrick.
 
The Blackhawk is piloted by Maj. Dan Hokanson and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Marco Frye as co-pilot, crewmembers are Sgt. Pat Casha and Special Travis Davidson of Salem, Ore.
 
The Owyhee River is located in remote high desert country and has been called Oregon's Grand Canyon.
 
For more information contact:
 
Kay Fristad
(503) 584-3917
(503) 931-5179 Cell