Whether coronavirus is still raging or the beast has been tamed this summer, Fort Carson’s 4th Combat Aviation Brigade will be prepared for its Middle East deployment.
“Training goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Corsaro, command chief warrant officer of the brigade, recently told The Gazette from Butts Army Airfield, where his aviators were preparing to take to the skies.
The brigade’s response to the virus entails wearing masks — even when flying — and maintaining social distancing when possible.
“We’ve been diligent in our response,” Corsaro said. “We’ve incorporated a lot of the guidelines from local, state, federal governments into our training to make sure our training is safe and effective for our soldiers and the community.”
Last month, Fort Carson announced that the brigade would deploy to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility this summer, replacing the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, N.Y.
The post declined to say exactly where the aviators were headed, though 10th Mountain is stationed in Afghanistan.
Corsaro said his troops would serve in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom Sentinel, respectively.
It will work with members of the National Guard, primarily those from Utah’s 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, according to officials on the post.
Last year, the brigade served in Europe and the Middle East.
Among those deploying with the aviators this summer is Sgt. Bo Dobson, a flight instructor. The tour will be his first overseas.
“I’m excited for the military experience of it, but I just had a newborn,” he said, his voice trailing off.
The deployment will also be a first for 1st Lt. Kathryn Winski.
“I think it will be an incredible opportunity,” the pilot said.
She’ll also be missing someone during her deployment, but not from afar.
Her husband, an Apache pilot, will also be stationed in Afghanistan this summer, but at a different location — so relatively close and yet so far away.
It’s sacrifices like these that Corsaro said is grateful for.
“We’d really like to thank all the families and the community for the support they’ve given us.”