NM National Guard Rolls Out New Helicopters

May 4, 2013

The New Mexico National Guard has some new helicopters.

The UH-72 Lakota choppers are being rolled out Saturday at the aviation hangar at the Las Cruces airport. They will be used to support national and state homeland security missions as well as operations aimed at curbing drug trafficking in southern New Mexico.

The light utility helicopters replace the OH-58, a Vietnam vintage chopper that was flown until recently by Charlie Company, 3-140th Aviation.

Charlie Company Commander Maj. James Mitchell says the UH-72s will allow for quicker response times and they will be able to transport more than the vintage helicopters.

As for gear, the twin-engine helicopters have external hoists for search and rescue missions and cargo hooks for carrying firefighting water buckets or other large loads.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.