Story submitted by BACH Public Affairs
FT. CAMPBELL, Ky. – The Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion is now the proud home of a Korean War era OH-23 Raven medical evacuation helicopter. WTB leadership, along with the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital commander and 101st Airborne Division leaders, dedicated the aircraft display at a ceremony in its new home at the WTB Complex Wednesday, June 19.
During the ceremony, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell Senior Mission Commander Brig. Gen. Stammer recognized all of the men and women within the WTB, honoring them for their dedication to healing, overcoming personal obstacles and transitioning either back to their units or into the civilian world as honored veterans.
In front of the gathered crowd of WTB Soldiers and staff, veterans who served in the Korean War, and other guests, Stammer spoke of the between the symbolic nature of the Raven’s mission of helping Soldiers transition, just as the WTB helps Soldiers transition today.
“The Raven heralded in a new age of Army Medicine, this aircraft was the first of its kind to evacuate wounded soldiers and civilians by air, quickly and efficiently, from the battlefield,” said Stammer.
Capt. Rodney Potter, WTB Logistics officer who spearheaded the restoration, explained that prior to the Army introducing the Raven for medical evacuations, it might take hours or days to transport a Soldier over land from the battlefield to get the medical care they needed. By air, Soldiers could be out of harm’s way in just minutes.
“I think this display is a perfect example of how the Army is always working to improve the ways we take care of our Soldiers,” said Potter. “That’s what the WTB is about, making it right for our Soldiers.”
The Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell previously displayed the Raven around 1975, however the aircraft was in disrepair when the restoration began six months ago.
The helicopter was restored at minimal cost to the Army thanks to the hard work by structural aircraft mechanics from Company B, 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division on behalf of Fort Campbell WTB Soldiers.