Blackhawks down, then back up


Army Lt. Col. Hise Gibson and members of the 82nd Airborne Division touched down in Greenwood on Friday afternoon for lunch and a refuel -- with nine Blackhawk helicopters resting on the tarmac at Greenwood County Airport after refueling.

They were returning home to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where the division is stationed, after training at Fort Polk in Louisiana.

"We were conducting exercises for 18 days," he said.

It's not the first time they've touched down in Greenwood, nor will it be the last, as he said it's their usual pitstop on the way home. Maj. Chris Mueller was checking one of the helicopters, emblazoned with a white mustang horse on the side, before takeoff.

"We were working on exercises with a ground troop that's getting ready for deployment," he said.

Besides the nine Blackhawks, Mueller said the division also had three Chinooks stopping at Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, in Thomson, Georgia near Augusta.

Contact staff writer Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.