Buckley's ARNG gets new helo
By Airman 1st Class Nigel R. Sims, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 09, 2011
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Colorado National Guard hosted an open house for its newest aircraft, the LUH-72 Lakota helicopter March 3.
The Lakota is replacing the OH-58 Kiowas of Company D, 3rd Battalion 140th Security and Support Aviation, Colorado Army National Guard.
"The U.S. Army has been replacing the aging, UH-1 Iroquois and OH-58 fleet with the new Lakota," said Maj. Christopher Moore, Colorado Army National Guard.
In addition to the fact that the Iroquois is ageing, Buckley's Army Guard is also changing missions.
"While the Lokata does have an observation platform, this unit has transformed its mission from reconnaissance to medical evacuation," said Capt. Michael Odgers, Colorado Army National Guard Public Affairs Officer.
The Lakota is better suited to meet that mission.
"The Army reorganized the Security and Support Battalions, and added the medevac function to give the domestic operations of Homeland Security its organic medevac support," said Major Moore.
In addition to these two variants, the Lakota also has a VIP variant to fly senior leaders, a training-specific modification, a Guard-specific aircraft for homeland security, and a standard-package aircraft used for a variety of missions.
"We are very happy to have four new aircraft for the COARNG and are excited to be the first mountain state to be fielded. We look forward to integrating them into our fleet and new mission sets for COARNG," said Col. Joel Best, Colorado Army National Guard, state Army aviation officer.