Military Matters: Fort Drum water rescues and maple syrup

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - Local water rescues on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River could soon have help from the air thanks to Fort Drum.

The 10th Mountain Division and the U.S Coast Guard signed a memorandum, which will allow the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade to help with search and rescue missions on the water using Black Hawk helicopters.

Major General Milford Beagle Jr., commander of the 10th Mountain Division, says Fort Drum’s proximity to the lake and river makes the partnership make sense.

He adds the Army’s infrared technology will be a great benefit to rescuing people in the open water.

“With the helicopters...if we’re looking at infrared radar, they can see through the dark. They can see that heat, spot that individual or individuals quicker than the naked eye or just looking in the dark. That again closes that gap with the time that could’ve potentially been lost in finding an individual or individuals,” he said.

Also at Fort Drum Wednesday, they were making maple syrup again at the LeRay Mansion. The last time Fort Drum hosted Maple Days was in 2019.

The event shows soldiers and their families how the sweet treat is made. The team says it’s tapping trees and making about half a gallon of syrup per hour. For some, it’s their first time tasting the real stuff.

“It is very gratifying, you know, a lot of people that come here have never had maple syrup before. We had people from Florida this morning, all over the country, and they’ve never tasted it, and this was their first time. To see their face the first time they try it, and they say, ‘Oh, wow! This is not the syrup that I know,’” said Rodger Voss, Fort Drum installation forester.

Voss says he believes Fort Drum may be the only installation in the Army that produces its own maple syrup.

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