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Indiana National Guard replaces helicopters


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By IDS Reports



The Indiana National Guard welcomed two UH-72 Lakota helicopters Friday at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Shelbyville, Ind., to replace two old OH-58 Kiowa helicopters.

The Lakotas, manufactured by the Airbus Group, will also aid local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in case of an emergency.

The new helicopters will enable the Indiana National Guard to be better prepared to help those it protects, Airbus Group Vice President Ted Mickevicius said in a press release from the Indiana National Guard’s Public Affairs Office.

“These aircrafts will provide Indiana with increased capabilities, including search and rescue, disaster response and support to local law enforcement,” Mickevicius said in a press release. “The Indiana National Guard will be better prepared than ever to answer the call to respond to emergencies in local communities and the state.”

They will also aid in homeland security missions.

The UH-72 Lakota is a light utility helicopter with improved communications, enhanced image transmission and increased troop carrying capacity, according to the press release.

“It also comes at a much lower operating cost than any other modern airframe in our inventory,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Lane, Indiana National Guard’s director of aviation and safety.

Many National Guard units across the country have been losing aviation assets.
The impact goes beyond the state of Indiana. The production of the Lakota also had a big help in supplying jobs to Americans, according to the press release.

Its development created more than 300 production jobs, more than half of which were filled by service veterans, the release says.

To receive upgraded replacements like the Lakota is rare and a privilege for Indiana, according to the release.

“It’s a valuable asset for Indiana and an important tool for supporting our communities and serving our citizens,” Lane said.

Angela Hawkins

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