U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Donald Schumann, of Mesa, is a pilot with Co. C "Mountain Dustoff," 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Falcon in Afghanistan. This medical evacuation unit transports patients from one base to another and picks up patients from the point of injury, usually from the battlefield.
"I was an air assault pilot before coming here," Schumann said in a story written by Task Force Falcon public affiars. "It's a lot more challenging being a medevac pilot. We have to do on-the-fly planning for most of our missions."
Under constant pressure to take off at any time, the unit maintains a standard of "wheels up" within 15 minutes of receiving an urgent medevac call. Working together, the pilots, medics and crew chiefs fly patients from all groups including Afghan National Army soldiers, Afghan civilians, coalition forces and others.
The company has flown more than 2,300 missions, including many that took the medevac team into dangerous places to pick up the injured. Mountain Dustoff deployed in the fall of 2010 from Fort Drum, N.Y., and is expected to redeploy this fall, according to the news release from Task Force Falcon public affairs.