First MEDEVAC UH-72As delivered to the National Guard
The UH-72A Lakota program has marked a new milestone with its first deliveries of the Light Utility Helicopter in a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) configuration for the U.S. Army National Guard.
These aircraft are being provided to the District of Columbia National Guard, which marked the Lakota’s arrival in the nation’s capital during a formal ceremony today at the D.C. Armory.
A total of eight Lakotas will be received by the D.C. National Guard, with these helicopters used in applications that range from homeland security and military support missions to assistance for civil authorities. Six are to be operated by the 121st Medical Company (Air Ambulance) – replacing UH-1s, and two others will be flown by the 1-224th Aviation Battalion (Security and Support), succeeding OH-58s.
The D.C. National Guard’s UH-72As configured for MEDEVAC carry two stretchers, plus the associated medical equipment and systems. Two medics are positioned in rear-facing seats behind the pilot and co-pilot.
While other MEDEVAC-capable Lakotas have been delivered by EADS North America to the Army’s active component since 2006, the D.C. National Guard becomes the country’s initial Guard unit with these aircraft.
The 121st Medical Company’s initial three UH-72As were flown March 5 from the production facility in Columbus, Mississippi to the Washington, D.C. area, and an additional three will be provided next month. Lakotas for the 1-224th Aviation Battalion will be delivered in 2012 to the D.C. National Guard.