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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where Do I Find That Fine Sand?

Brownout remains one of the biggest concerns for helicopter operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. Army aircrews and leaders are forever on the search for new tips, techniques, and tools for avoiding or minimizing the hazard. One recurring complaint is that the sand and dust in southwest Asia is finer and more persistent in the air than that seen in the United States. So where does one go to train for landings in those theaters? “We don’t make dust here like they make dust” over there, said Col. Kevin Mangum, commander of the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which has had crews and aircraft flying in Afghanistan since operations began there. “For the Iraq battlefield, [the National Training Center at China Lake, Calif.] replicates it fairly well. The place that we’ve found in the United States that best replicates the dust of Afghanistan is NAS Fallon, Nev.” For related news
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