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Pops at the Post: Blackhawks flying high

By Susan Shinn
sshinn@salisburypost.com
From the beginning, members of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 131st Aviation Group have been a part of the Pops at the Post celebration.
That’s the local Blackhawk helicopter group. They’ve always been a visible ó and we mean visible ó part of every Pops experience.
Personnel will once again be in the air and on the ground this Saturday.
Along with bringing a firetruck from the 430th Engineer Firefighting Team, there will also be a climbing wall onsite. It’s staffed by the National Guard’s recruiting team, a group that travels with the wall around the state. The wall will be set up and ready to go by 10:30 a.m.
The Guard’s relationship with Pops has been a good one, says Capt. Jack Potvin.
“Anywhere we go, we get a lot of positive feedback for being part of the community,” Potvin says.
A Blackhawk, which will be on display throughout the day, will arrive at 8:45 a.m. Saturday. A special viewing area will be set up for those who’d like to watch the landing, Potvin says, “as long as they stand back!”
The group will have as many as 40 personnel rotating in and out during the day. Although the group is predominantly male, it does have one female pilot and one female mechanic.
Col. Paul Barbee, longtime facility commander, is currently serving in Iraq as the Task Force 449 Brigade Commander. He has multiple active duty and National Guard battalions under his command, according to Potvin.
Barbee told Potvin of Pops, “Make sure you get this taken care of.”

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