US Army, August 21, 2015 - CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea by Chung Il Kim - The sun was blazing and the heat was scorching on the Korean Peninsula.
Soldiers from the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade train at the forefront of the peninsula at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in South Korea.
Spc. Daniel Gomez, an OH-58 Kiowa mechanic from the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd CAB, was one of many Soldiers at RLFC on August 20 for the joint/combined exercise, Furious Talon.
Gomez joined the Army in 2012 because he “wanted to fly.” Although he does not hover the sky like he initially hoped, he does help pilots stay in flight and he is proud of his job.
“We check radio systems, perform maintenance and make sure that our OH-58 Kiowa is ready to fly,” said Gomez.
Here at RLFC, Gomez and his unit provided ground support, reconnaissance and attack support to the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, during the exercises.
“The Kiowa is the best aircraft,” said Gomez. “The Kiowa does more work than other helicopter with less time, fuel and other resources.”
Gomez recollected his first flying experience in a Kiowa on a big island in Hawaii back in 2013. “I got a chance to get in a Kiowa and see it shooting for the first time,” said Gomez. “I instantly fell in love with Kiowa’s.”
His passion for the helicopter is well known to his coworkers. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sebastian Rivas, a maintenance test pilot from the 2-6th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd CAB, said Gomez is “highly dedicated and enthusiastic.” Rivas is the direct supervisor and also a maintenance advisor of Gomez.
“We have been working together for the last two and a half years,” said Rivas. “Spc. Gomez brings a positive atmosphere to the troop.”
Their Colombian backgrounds and passion for the Kiowa brought them together and strengthened their teamwork.
However, as the U.S. Army plans to retire the OH-58 Kiowa soon, Gomez said he wants to go back to his unit in Hawaii this October, but is diligently searching and preparing for the next chapter in his life.
After his military career, he plans to work at the CIA or FBI. As Gomez’s supervisor, Rivas wished Gomez to “continue to strive to be a better Soldier and continue to shine.”