FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Fort Drum soldiers are taking to the skies on Friday to celebrate the end of an annual training exercise.

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum wrapped up their Falcon Peak training exercise during the second week of August. The unit returned to the North Country from Griffiss International Airport in Rome on Thursday, August 12. Griffiss was considered the unit’s “home base” for this year’s Falcon Peak exercise.

According to 10th Combat Aviation Brigade Spokesperson Captain Veronica Bryant Bean, this year’s Falcon Peak exercise involved 284 Soldiers with seven UH 60 Black Hawks, 12 Apaches and 100 ground vehicles. The unit also conducted flight operations in the Adirondack Mountain region.

Pilots trained terrain flights, learned to navigate diverse terrain while audible or visual detection. Soldiers in vehicles trained convoy operation by driving 100 vehicles to Rome, New York. Soldiers trained to “build proficiency” as Army Aviators and prepare for combat. The soldiers left for the training in late July 2021

“We’re incredibly lucky to live in this great North Country community,” 10th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander Col. Travis L. McIntosh said in a press release. “The diverse terrain of Northern New York provides ample opportunity for us to safely train our aircrews with minimal impact on the community.”

To celebrate the end of training, a massive movement of aircraft and Soldier took to the skies of the North Country. This involved a large formation of Black Hawk helicopters, which took flight from Fort Drum and traveled over areas of Watertown, Sackets Harbor and Clayton.

The last Falcon Peak was held in 2018 due to the unit’s last deployment. The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade deploys across the world. It was first constituted in 1965.