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NYPD saves 2 West Point cadets in mountaintop rescue
NY Post ^ | 2/20/11 | BOB FREDERICKS

Posted on 02/20/2011 8:36:02 AM PST by jimbo123

Heroic NYPD cops battled ferocious winds and sub-freezing temperatures as one was lowered from a hovering helicopter onto a mountaintop cliff early today to rescue two near-dead West Point cadets who’d gotten stranded in the dead of night after wandering away from their unit during a training exercise.

The amazing death-defying rescue took place about 2:30 a.m. atop Storm King Mountain several miles north of the United States Military Academy at a time temperatures had plunged to 18 degrees and winds were gusting as high as 50 mph.

Aviation Unit Officer Steve Browning and Detective Mike Sileo, pilot and co-pilot and their crew of three used infrared and night vision equipment to spot the wayward cadets, who were suffering from hypothermia while trapped on the craggy, tree-ringed cliff. Browning was able to maintain the Bell 412 Air, Sea Rescue chopper in position hovering high over the rugged terrain while Emergency Services Unit medic Chris Condon was lowered to the stricken cadets.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: nypd; westpoint

1 posted on 02/20/2011 8:36:03 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123

I’m guessing they will not get high marks in terrestrial navigation and outdoor survival this semester.


2 posted on 02/20/2011 8:41:18 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: jimbo123
But they had a map and a compass!

/johnny

3 posted on 02/20/2011 8:50:25 AM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: jimbo123

Wind gusts were pretty strong at ground level so it must have been a chore maneuvering the copter up there.


4 posted on 02/20/2011 8:51:56 AM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

Kudos to these brave Cops!


5 posted on 02/20/2011 8:57:23 AM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: jimbo123
Cadets are getting some demerits, to be sure. But, I wouldn't be surprised if some instructors end up getting relieved. Losing men in the field training op is a big-time no no.

About a decade or so ago, a marine went missing at Twentynine Palms during a CAX. He succumbed to the elements. Everyone in his chain of command - from squad leader to battalion commander, was reprimanded or relieved of command.

6 posted on 02/20/2011 8:59:28 AM PST by OldDeckHand (So long as we have SEIU, who needs al-Qaeda?)
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To: jimbo123

They’ll never live it down. Could be desk-pilots in future.


7 posted on 02/20/2011 9:17:30 AM PST by OldNewYork (social justice isn't justice; it's just socialism)
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To: jimbo123

Glad they’re OK.

And, I’d still take those two kids on my side over a thousand of the Madison protester/losers any day!


8 posted on 02/20/2011 9:26:54 AM PST by moovova (Don't let Obama spoil the word "hope" for you...)
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To: jimbo123

The area around Storm King mountain contains miles of dark and eerie-looking woods once you leave, or miss, some of the local trails. There are areas where even in the middle of summer the forest barely allows sunlight to reach the forest floor which is covered by centuries of dead vegetation. Even with a map and compass I’m guessing it’s not too hard to get lost around there as many still missing hikers have found to their sorrow.


9 posted on 02/20/2011 9:29:43 AM PST by Larry381
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To: decimon

Amazing to get a helicopter up there in the middle of the night in a storm. Search and Rescue usually operates in daylight hours. What courage!


10 posted on 02/20/2011 9:33:14 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: OldDeckHand
I remember that. The young man was assigned to stand at a fork in a road that a training convoy was using. His job was to point the vehicles down the correct branch at the fork. That was his whole job that day.

Later in the day, or perhaps that night, someone realized they had forgotten to go collect him. They later found his body.

Lotta layoffs after that. My recollection is that went up to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, or almost, but I could be wrong.

11 posted on 02/20/2011 10:03:28 AM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: Larry381

When I taught at West Point, I was responsible for Land Navigation training, a skill that all cadets were required to master. When assigned the responsibility, I was surprised to learn that some years before, land navigation training and the qualifying test had been changed from an individual task to a buddy task, in part because of the rugged terrain in and around West Point. This, of course, meant that up to one half of the cadets might not be able to navigate without their competent buddy. Not good. We got that changed, but the safety naysayers fought it all the way up to the Superintendent. Some cadets did get lost, but eventually they all learned this essential skill.

Unfortunately, the advent of GPS has meant that navigation skills are no longer thought to be so essential and training has suffered. I wonder if West Point has returned to the buddy system for Land Nav training. If they have, these two were probably the less skilled of their team.


12 posted on 02/20/2011 10:08:52 AM PST by centurion316
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To: Steely Tom
"My recollection is that went up to the Commandant of the Marine Corps"

I'm not sure if the Commandant was censured (I don't believe he was but I was in the Navy and not the Marines, so I could be mistaken), but the CG of that Division and certainly the regimental commander very well may have been reprimanded also. The way you've described the events, are precisely how I remember them, as well.

13 posted on 02/20/2011 10:09:29 AM PST by OldDeckHand (So long as we have SEIU, who needs al-Qaeda?)
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To: jimbo123

NYPD does rescues upstate?


14 posted on 02/20/2011 10:36:25 AM PST by Defiant (There is no line on the march towards marxism that Democrats won't cross. Democrat=CPUSA)
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To: centurion316

Someone can look forward to a little AI on Land Nav!

Guess that’s a result of the move to a military intercession during January


15 posted on 02/20/2011 10:54:09 AM PST by SquarePants
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To: ccmay

Don’t try to tell me these police aren’t heroes!


16 posted on 02/20/2011 2:52:34 PM PST by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: Defiant
NYPD does rescues upstate?

Well, West Point isn't THAT far upstate, but it's certainly outside of NYC. Why didn't they send Army helos after the men?

17 posted on 02/20/2011 6:28:43 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: centurion316

Interesting. When I was a cadet at West Point, day land nav (at least during Buckner) was individual while night land nav was with a buddy.

I always found land nav around West Point to be fairly easy - the high relief of the area makes dead reckoning very practical. Of course, I never spent any time on Storm King. The mountain was closed down during my time because they’d found some old unexploded ordnance up there.

Of course, this might not have been land nav training at all. It could have been a field problem for Commandant’s weekend. In that case, they might not have had maps at all and were just separated from their units.

Or, it might have been Yuks who failed land nav during Buckner and were making it up, though this seems a tad late in the school year for that.


18 posted on 02/20/2011 9:08:46 PM PST by The Pack Knight (Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and the world laughs at you.)
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To: RoadTest

I was speaking of the hapless cadets, not the police.


19 posted on 02/20/2011 10:16:39 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: ccmay

“I was speaking of the hapless cadets, not the police.”

I understood that. I was addressing a general audience.


20 posted on 02/21/2011 4:18:20 AM PST by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: The Pack Knight

I doubt this was Land Nav, I’m sure that’s still a Buckner thing. Must have been a tactical problem, probably with some sort of GPS with the leaders. The south face of Storm King is still covered with ordnance, I think that it is too expensive to clear.

Even with the standard admonition to “Never cross a paved road. If you do, you are outside of the course boundaries.” I recall that one stalwart managed to climb a fence, cross the multi-lane New York State Thruway, climb another fence, find a phone and call to report that “somehow” he had wandered off the course.”

Just saw a Fox News report that they were in Storm King State Park rappelling. Probably not lost, just stranded. They had a cell phone and called for help.


21 posted on 02/21/2011 5:42:54 AM PST by centurion316
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To: Defiant; thefactor
In the Times article on this, the local rescue squads said they couldn't do it and then a NY State Trooper helicopter said it did not have the right equipment. The NYPD is probably the best equipped and best trained police force in the world (certainly, at least, for their special units like rescue) and tends to answer calls for help even if not in their strict jurisdiction.

What surprises me is that and Army or Coast Guard rescue copter wasn't called in by The Point.

22 posted on 02/21/2011 7:48:39 AM PST by Pharmboy (What always made the state a hell has been that man tried to make it heaven-Hoelderlin)
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To: bboop
Search and Rescue usually operates in daylight hours.

USAF Air Rescue Service Pilots and Pararescue Jumpers are all night-vision goggle trained. The Pave-Hawk helicopters have all-weather capabilities. I expect US Coast Guard does also.

23 posted on 02/21/2011 7:55:04 AM PST by CholeraJoe ("And if you disagree with me, you are worse than Hitler." Greg Gutfeld)
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To: Pharmboy

Stewart AFB is right there in Newburg. Guess the Air Force doesn’t have rescue guys on standby.


24 posted on 02/21/2011 7:56:55 AM PST by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: thefactor

Yep...forgot for a moment about Stewart AFB; but, the Coast Guard is only 40 miles south and, as you know, they have a huge presence in NYC area waterways. And no one can say the Coast Guard isn’t a) always ready or b) able to do tough helo rescues.


25 posted on 02/21/2011 8:05:32 AM PST by Pharmboy (What always made the state a hell has been that man tried to make it heaven-Hoelderlin)
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To: Pharmboy; thefactor

Yep...forgot for a moment about Stewart AFB;
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Stewart AFB as we ‘knew’ it is no longer.

It is called Newburgh/Stewart International AP and the NY ANG has a portion of it.

Back in mid 50’s, while in HS, I was a CAP ‘spotter’ for Stewart AFB, had a shack in a field and would call in anything that flew over.

Lots of locations, mine was in Dover Plains NY.


26 posted on 02/21/2011 8:15:52 AM PST by xrmusn ((6/98) "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits")
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To: xrmusn

Yep...I now remember when that happened some years ago. Thanks for the info...


27 posted on 02/21/2011 8:19:21 AM PST by Pharmboy (What always made the state a hell has been that man tried to make it heaven-Hoelderlin)
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To: RoadTest

Don’t try to tell me these police aren’t heroes!>>>>>>

Easy to crash and die in such rough mountain weather so they put their lives at risk


28 posted on 02/21/2011 8:19:21 AM PST by dennisw (- - - -He who does not economize will have to agonize - - - - - Confucius)
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To: JRandomFreeper
But they had a map and a compass!

In my day, the most dangerous weapon in the US Army was a 2nd LT and a map.

BTW, what happens when we have an EMP attack, and GPS is rendered useless?

Echoing other posters, the entire chain of command at WP is likely in hot water over this near disaster.

29 posted on 02/21/2011 8:22:07 AM PST by Night Hides Not (If Dick Cheney = Darth Vader, then Joe Biden = Dark Helmet)
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To: dennisw

“Don’t try to tell me these police aren’t heroes!>>>>>>

Easy to crash and die in such rough mountain weather so they put their lives at risk”

That was my thought in saying they’re heroes.


30 posted on 02/21/2011 12:15:30 PM PST by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: dennisw

“Don’t try to tell me these police aren’t heroes!>>>>>>

Easy to crash and die in such rough mountain weather so they put their lives at risk”

That was my thought in saying they’re heroes.


31 posted on 02/21/2011 12:15:43 PM PST by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: CholeraJoe

I’m so glad to hear that. Speaking from experience, but some years back. I would think they had latest equipment now. We have a S&R group here in our town, up against the foothills as we are, in Los Angeles. We love those guys. THey are all volunteers, do amazing rescues. I didn’t know they worked at night.


32 posted on 02/21/2011 1:31:06 PM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: jimbo123

Bet those cops were not hated union members whose jobs should be outsourced before they get another raise or health benefits.


33 posted on 02/21/2011 1:39:50 PM PST by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: centurion316
I recall that one stalwart managed to climb a fence, cross the multi-lane New York State Thruway, climb another fence, find a phone and call to report that “somehow” he had wandered off the course.”

I remember hearing that story or one very similar. Some plebes ended up in the town across the Thruway from Lake Frederick during the bivouac at the end of Beast, and called in from someone's house.

I did have a suspicion that the cadets in this case might have gotten lost while "reconning the woodline" (i.e., sneaking off for a smoke), but getting stranded while rappelling makes sense, too - especially with the weather they've been having lately. If they got stranded and couldn't be located with a ground search like the article on this thread says, though, it sounds like they were out by themselves, which seems a bit strange.

Land nav is a Buckner thing, of course, but yearlings who fail that or any of the other tasks required for promotion to Cadet Corporal typically have to make it up during the academic year. I doubted they were doing land nav here, though - I don't remember anyone doing Buckner makeups as late as February.
34 posted on 02/21/2011 7:42:53 PM PST by The Pack Knight (Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and the world laughs at you.)
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