02/14/14 12:22pm
02/14/2014 12:22 PM
Courtesy Photo | Roanoke Avenue Elementary School created 200 handmade valentines for local members of the 106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard on Long Island.

Courtesy Photo | Roanoke Avenue Elementary School created 200 handmade valentines for local members of the 106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard on Long Island.

After a group of students at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School participated in a “Kindness Challenge”-themed essay writing contest, one student’s essay inspired members from three of the school’s classes to create about 200 handmade valentines to show their appreciation to military service men and women who the students felt were often underappreciated. (more…)

09/18/12 2:15pm
09/18/2012 2:15 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A U.S. pararescue team competes in a rodeo on the Peconic Bay Tuesday.

The threat of high winds and rain didn’t stop the Air National Guard from hosting its rescue rodeo in the Peconic Bay Tuesday morning.

Six U.S. pararescue teams, known as PJs, and one all-volunteer Sea Rescue group from South Africa (Cape Town, Plattenberg and Port Elizabeth) showed off their skills in a race of five-person teams on inflatable Zodiac boats.

“[The race] requires a little bit of thoughtful navigation, breath holding and other skills we use in rescues and other missions,” said Master Sergeant Jules Roy, a PJ with the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton Beach. The 106th is hosting the rodeo, so its members are not participating. It is held every two years and the 106th won the event in Kentucky four years ago.

The race, which began at 8:30 a.m., went from Treasure Cove Marina in Riverhead to Greenport and back. It’s part of a week-long reunion of pararescue technicians.

They headed out on the Peconic River to the County 105 bridge propelled only by paddle, since it’s a no-wake zone. Once there, a designated PJ had to climb a 30-foot rope to the top of the bridge and record his time. After that, the teams headed to Greenport, powered by a 30-horsepower motor.

Once in Greenport, the teams competed in precision parachuting over Great Peconic Bay. The five-person Zodiac teams then had to dive without scuba gear into the harbor to retrieve a keg full of water, representing the illegal liquor that flowed into the village during Prohibition, and unlock a cable to free cans of fuel needed to return to Riverhead.

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See more photos on suffolktimes.com

09/18/12 8:00am

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Divers worked in Greenport Harbor by Claudio’s Restaurant Monday setting up for Tuesday’s unusual Air National Guard ‘rodeo.’

Seven teams of Air National Guard rescue squad members will show off their considerable skills Tuesday during an unusual “rodeo” involving an unusual race of inflatable Zodiac boats from Riverhead to Greenport and back.

That competition, and others including precision parachuting over Great Peconic Bay, are part of a week-long reunion of famed pararescue technicians, known also as PJ’s. The five-person Zodiac teams will head out to Greenport starting at 9 a.m., where they must dive without scuba geat into the harbor to retrieve a keg full of water, representing the illegal liquor that flowed into the village during Prohibition, and unlock a cable to free cans of fuel needed to return to Riverhead.

The race “requires a little bit of thoughtful navigation, breath holding and other skills we use in rescues and other missions,” said Master Sergeant Jules Roy, a PJ with the 106th.

The race starts at 9 a.m., with one boat leaving every half hour. The round trip is expected to take roughly two hours.

Check back later in the day for photos of the event.