BANGOR, Maine — A Maine Army National Guard medevac company returning home after spending more than nine months in Iraq is expected to make a brief stop Saturday morning at Bangor International Airport.
Guard spokesman Capt. Shanon Cotta said the unit, which includes 130 men and women from throughout Maine, will land at BIA sometime around 9 a.m. and will spend a couple of hours at the airport. Family, friends and members of the Maine Troop Greeters are expected to be on hand to give the unit a homecoming. The unit, officially known as Charlie Company of the 126th Aviation Regiment but often called the Black Bears, will then leave for Fort Carson, Colo., where they will debrief before being discharged.
The Guard soldiers left Maine in January and spent several weeks training at Fort Sill, Okla., before deploying to Iraq.
The aviation unit, formerly known as the 112th Medical Company, flies helicopters into combat zones and evacuates injured soldiers and civilians. During their nine months in Iraq, the Black Bears’ helicopter ambulance unit flew more than 3,000 hours and was responsible for evacuating more than 650 patients from war zones.