Maine Army National Guard to unveil new helicopters

Posted June 14, 2014, at 6:19 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor-based Maine Army National Guard unit will hold a rollout ceremony Thursday for its newest assets: a pair of 2014 UH-72 Lakota helicopters.

The ceremony, which is open to be public, begins at 9 a.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility, located at 92 Hayes St. in Bangor.

The Maine Army National Guard’s Detachment 2, Bravo Company 1-224th Aviation Security and Support unit received two of the new helicopters, according to Maj. Michael Steinbuchel, who serves as public affairs officer for the Maine Army National Guard and the Maine Air National Guard.

Steinbuchel said Friday the arrival of the new aircraft is part of a nationwide program to replace the National Guard’s aging Bell OH-58A/C Kiowa helicopters, which have been in service for almost three decades.

Members of the Bangor-based unit will use the new helicopters to conduct training in support of their state and federal mission.

The technical capabilities of the new Lakota helicopters are far superior to the aging models they are replacing, including their applications in search and rescue and wildfire detection operations, he said.

The 23-member unit’s mission is to provide command and control, communication flights, limited air movements, aerial reconnaissance and screening operations in support of Homeland Security and Defense requirements.

Steinbuchel said Brig. Gen. James Campbell, adjutant general of the Maine Army National Guard, and other military officials will attend Thursday’s event.

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