By Margaret Downing

One of two CH-47 Chinooks is pictured after landing in the field behind the Army Reserve Center on March 10.

The Machesney Park Army Reserve Center off of Hwy. 173 in Machesney Park welcomed two Chinook CH-47 helicopters on March 10. The helicopters arrived to transport soldiers of the 469th Engineering Co., CEC-I, to Camp Dodge, Iowa for training.

Per information obtained from Wikipedia, the Boeing Chinook CH-47 “is a tandem rotor helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol.

“The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, comes from the Native American Chinook people of Oregon and Washington states.”

Chinook, a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter’s primary mission is “to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Armaments can include two 7.62mm Mini-guns and one 7.62 M50D machine gun.

“The CH-47 Chinook has a 26,000 pound capability and can lift large HVAC units, utility poles, and large bundles of food, healthcare supplies, and water if needed.”

One of the Chinook pilots explained it takes “7,000 pounds of fuel to fill up the helicopter, 5,000 HP, and the blades on top each measure 96 feet across!”

The Chinooks have been utilized since 1961 and have played a role in the military ever since.

1SG Vincent Lara, at the Machesney Park location, explained some facts about the Army Reserve, saying “We augment the active component from which Soldiers have come from Active Duty, the National Guard, or started in the Reserves itself. The Reserves continue training so our country is ready to respond to our nation’s call.”

“Soldier members of the Reserves bring at least two professions to the ranks; the Military Specialty of each Soldier and the Civilian profession as Citizen Soldiers.”

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