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Military Helo News Updates - Added to Regularly
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Military Helo News Updates - Added to Regularly Reply with quote

National Guard to the rescue in 8 states

by Army Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFPN) -- Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen in eight states rescued
people and hauled hay to livestock following a severe end-of-year winter storm
that stretched from America's northern to southern borders.

Hundreds of Guard members in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma,
Oregon, Texas and Washington -- sometimes assisted by other states -- spent
their holiday season rescuing stranded motorists, carrying medical supplies and
restoring power. In Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico, Guard members dropped hay
from helicopters and C-130 Hercules aircraft to starving cattle.

At least 13 people in five states died in the storm.

"That responsibility is one of our primary missions, and we have always
responded," Maj. Gen. Mason Whitney, Colorado's adjutant general, told the
American Forces Information Service. "That's the strength of the National Guard.
We are the forward-deployed forces in communities across America for the
homeland defense and emergency response mission."

The Joint Operations Center at the National Guard Bureau -- which coordinates
Guard operations worldwide -- and other sources provided this picture of Guard
members helping citizens dig out from as much as 3 feet of snow.


In Colorado, vehicles stranded by a pre-Christmas snowstorm that dumped 30
inches in the mountains and 9 inches on the plains rendered Interstate 25
impassable, and Guard members helped state troopers clear the road. Drivers were
stranded on I-25, US-52 and I-70. Hundreds of miles of interstates were closed.

About 60 Colorado National Guard members rescued dozens of stranded motorists
after the most powerful snowstorm in almost four years.

"They're telling me it's zero visibility," General Whitney said. "They'll kind
of bump into something, and it'll turn out to be a car with people in it."

The Guard conducted search and rescue missions, provided emergency medical
transport and carried supplies to Red Cross shelters.

Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen took food and water to thousands of travelers
trapped at Denver International Airport, closed more than two days by the storm.

Five days after the Colorado Guard stood down from that first storm, it swung
into action again before the severe blizzard conditions of Dec. 28 and 29. Its
joint forces headquarters issued a warning order as the second storm approached.

Colorado Guard leaders anticipated that the new storm, centered on Denver and
Colorado Springs on top of previously accumulated snow, could again threaten
lives and further disrupt travel. Even before assistance was requested, the
Colorado Guard prepared dozens of high-ground-clearance vehicles and aviation
assets to aid local emergency responders. Some 166 Guard members stayed
overnight at armories to be in position ahead of time.

Challenges included snowfall that varied from 7 to 30 inches and was blown by 70
mph wind gusts, forming drifts up to 6 feet high across roads. Hundreds of
motorists were stranded, including tour bus passengers rescued by the Guard on
US-287 in Prowers County. Roads again closed, including interstates. The same
storm moved down to New Mexico and then on to the Texas panhandle.

Guard members took food, water, blankets and cots to shelters that ran low on
supplies. People were trapped in their homes. Power was cut off. The domino
effect of disrupted transportation corridors caused grocery stores across the
Rocky Mountain states to run short of food for days. Gov. Bill Owens declared an

More than 126 Colorado Guard members patrolled on the ground and in the air to
rescue stranded motorists, provided medical aid to five people, and distributed
medicine, baby formula and other critical supplies to isolated areas along the
state's Front Range.

"It's amazing to see how people work so well together under stressful
conditions," Capt. Jason Stuchlik, 2nd Battalion, 157th Field Artillery, told
the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. Previously, Captain Stuchlik's unit was part of
the National Guard's response to Hurricane Katrina. "We are seeing another
extreme, from hot to cold," he said. "The Katrina effort has made us more
prepared for this situation."

Guard members rescued 134 people and recovered four emergency response vehicles
and eight private vehicles.

They conducted medical resupply missions and -- backed by Guard members and air
assets from Oklahoma and Wyoming -- dropped hundreds of bales of hay to some of
an estimated 345,000 cattle stranded by 10-foot snowdrifts and facing
starvation. In 1997, 30,000 cattle died in a Colorado snowstorm.

"You can tell immediately where they are," General Whitney told CBS News.
"You'll see a bunch of dark spots clustered together in a sea of white."

Guard helicopters also dropped Meals Ready to Eat outside remote homes.

"It's the middle of nowhere," Army Sgt. 1st Class Steve Segin told CBS News.
"You lose the power, you might as well be in 1885. There's no cell phone, no
lights, no contact."


Some 114 Army and Air National Guard members assisted at emergency shelters and
provided power, supplies and transportation after between 15 and 36 inches of
snow stranded motorists, emergency services and medical members in western

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius declared a disaster area in 44 counties after the storm
brought 13-foot snowdrifts. More than 60,000 customers were without power for up
to a week after about 8,000 transmission poles were downed.

Some 3.7 million head of cattle, worth $3.4 billion, are located in the affected
counties, it was reported Jan. 5.

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter stood by for rescues as Guard members helped with
house-to-house welfare checks. Four armories served as shelters. Accumulating
snow caused a fire department building to collapse, and the Kansas National
Guard provided an armory for emergency responders. A UH-60 dropped hay to snow
and ice-bound cattle.

Kansas and Colorado agreed to support lifesaving cross-border operations.


About seven Nebraska National Guard members helped utility workers restore power
to about 35,000 people left without power for up to a week after the storm
downed an estimated 38 major transmission lines in central Nebraska. An OH-58
Kiowa helicopter and a UH-60 helped power officials assess damage.

Western and north-central Nebraska faced freezing rain, heavy snow and strong
winds. Some trees had a three-inch layer of ice.

New Mexico

About 20 members of the New Mexico National Guard using a dozen high-wheeled
vehicles and helicopters provided emergency medical assistance and rescued
stranded motorists, hunters and residents of remote areas.

The record-setting storm turned the desert white and canceled flights. This
occurred after a year that had already seen New Mexico Guard members patrolling
the border with Mexico as part of Operation Jump Start and providing potable
water and equipment to drought-stricken communities, in addition to overseas
missions and continued counterdrug activity.

A UH-60 rescued a stranded heart-transplant patient. Another ferried a bulldozer
operator to waiting equipment so he could help ranchers get to cattle. Guard
members rescued four hunters and pulled people from five stranded vehicles. They
provided cots to citizens in three cities.

Gov. Bill Richardson ordered more National Guard UH-60s to provide welfare
checks and drop hay.

"We're taking this extraordinary step to assist our farmers and ranchers as they
struggle to save their livestock and dig out from the incredible snowfall,"
Governor Richardson told the Albuquerque Journal. More than 15 inches of snow
fell on Albuquerque, an arid desert city.

The New Mexico National Guard surveyed damage and delivered infant supplies to
numerous homes, the governor's office reported.


An Oklahoma National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter joined a half-dozen humvees
as about 21 Guard members conducted air drops and search-and-recovery operations
in Cimarron County in the western part of the state.

Even as it responded in its own state, the Oklahoma National Guard also sent
five members to Colorado to operate a CH-47 providing humanitarian and livestock


A CH-47 and two UH-60s from the Oregon National Guard were joined by a C-130
from the Nevada National Guard in a quest to save three climbers missing on
Mount Hood.

The C-130 was equipped with infrared and a zooming camera lens. "This is the
only one in the Air Force, so if they want this technology. It's coming from
Reno," Master Sgt. Craig Madole of Nevada's 152nd Intelligence Squadron told the
Nevada Appeal. The same technology was used after Hurricane Katrina.

"Our hearts are going out to the families right now," Capt. Mike Braibish of the
Oregon National Guard told the Seattle Times after one climber's body was found
Dec. 17. The search for the other two will resume in the spring, officials said.


The Texas National Guard also anticipated the inclement weather, positioning
about a dozen members at the Amarillo Armory who supported public safety workers
in the Texas panhandle.


About 17 Guard members provided generators and other logistics to care centers
for elderly people, wastewater treatment plants and other facilities after
December windstorms knocked out power
Serving the Civil Helo Industry - www.heliopsmag.com

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Subject: Small Unmanned Air System Requirements Addressed

Date: 25-Jan-07

News Release Number: EPEOW200701251

News Release Copy: The profile of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps family of unmanned aviation systems is expanding.

In the coming months, the Navy’s PMA-263 acquisition program office intends to hold a full and open competition to fill the requirement for a small, tactical unmanned aerial system (UAS), to be utilized by both the Navy and Marine Corps. Experience with this size of UAS in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror has validated the need for this capability. This small UAS is expected to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support for tactical level decisions and unit level defense, and protection for Navy ships and Marine Corps land forces. The draft request for proposal is expected to be released this fall. (NOTE: The Navy refers to this capability as the Small Tactical UAS (STUAS) while the Marine Corps refers to it as Tier II UAS.)

Currently this small UAS capability is being met in theater, by sole-sourced service contracts, for the Navy and the Marine Corps through their respective acquisition commands. Under such service contracts, the UAS is owned and operated by the contractor, not the government. This year, each service will continue with service contracts, but on a competitive basis. This effort will continue until the larger, STUAS/Tier II joint effort reaches initial operational capability in FY 10.

Additionally, the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab in Quantico, Virginia, has begun a Tier II UAS concept demonstration effort. This system will serve as a test bed for developing concepts of operation; techniques, training and procedures (TTPs); new technologies; and advanced payloads. The information gathered from the Marine Corps concept demonstrator will be used in the development of the combined STUAS/Tier II program at PMA-263.

The UAS program office, PMA-263, reports to the Program Executive Office, Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation (PEO (W)), and is located at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

News Release Copy: By John Milliman, PEO(A) Public Affairs

NAVAIR Patuxent River, MD – Navy MH-60S Seahawk testers here achieved a double milestone as they completed developmental testing of the “Armed Helo” mission kit with first-time Hellfire air-to-ground missile shots from the aircraft January 30.

The testing, which started in March, 2006 and tallied more than 260 flight test hours, included firing missiles from both sides of the aircraft, also a first for the H-60 helicopter.

“All other Navy Hawks only have one weapon station on the left side of the aircraft,” explained Randal McKissack, the MH-60R/S common weapon integrated program team lead here. “Having a weapon station on the right side doubles the firing/weapon capability of the aircraft from four to eight missiles and increases the future flexibility of both carrier and expeditionary strike group commanders.”

Testers were pleased with the helicopter’s ability to fire and hit the target with all of its missiles on the first try.

“Armed Helo is the first helicopter test program to successfully execute all of its Hellfire missile shots since 1998 when the HH-60H successfully completed six out of six shots,” said Kevin Ransford, MH-60S lead test engineer at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 21 here.

“The Armed Helicopter Weapon System block upgrade is a key feature of the MH-60S spiral development effort,” McKissack added. “It will provide future expeditionary strike group commanders with robust capability in the areas of organic combat search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations, surface warfare and carrier plane guard, and search and rescue.”

During Armed Helo developmental testing, an HX-21 crew led by Armed Helo Project Officer Lt. Cmdr. Rob Gallagher used three MH-60S test aircraft to test the GAU-21 .50 caliber and M240 7.62mm machine guns in addition to the AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missile, according to McKissack. Other major systems integrated with the MH-60S include the AAS-44C Multi-Spectral Targeting System, the APR-39AV(2) Radar Signals Detecting Set, the AAR-47V(2) Missile Warning System, the ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing System, the ALQ-144V(6) Infrared Countermeasures Set and a Digital Map System.

Although complete with developmental test, the test team has a training period to complete before starting operational evaluation – the last step before fleet introduction of the capability.

The MH-60S multi-mission helicopter shares approximately 85 percent commonality with the MH-60R, including the Lockheed Martin-integrated “common cockpit,” and will replace HH-60H Seahawk helicopters currently in use as part of the U.S. Navy’s “Helicopter Master Plan” which will improve logistical efficiency by reducing six fielded helicopter platforms to two.

Approximately 270 MH-60S Seahawks are expected to be delivered to the Navy by 2015. To date, 77 MH-60S aircraft have been delivered to nine fleet squadrons.
Serving the Civil Helo Industry - www.heliopsmag.com

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 06, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for joint work on the next-generation Chinook helicopter for the Italian Army and other future rotorcraft opportunities.

Specifically, the MOU between the Rotorcraft Division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and AgustaWestland identifies potential opportunities for both companies to work together to offer effective and economic joint solutions for future heavy-lift rotorcraft requirements that will result in direct benefit to their customers. Initially, the MOU teams Boeing and AgustaWestland to jointly market the CH-47F aircraft as the replacement for the current Italian Army Chinook fleet.

The two companies also have agreed that on future opportunities for new helicopter sales in Italy and the U.K., AgustaWestland will serve as the prime contractor, and Boeing will serve as the exclusive prime subcontractor.

"This MOU is a continuation of our long-standing relationship with AgustaWestland and provides us the architecture to jointly offer the next-generation Chinook, the CH-47F, to the Italian Army as a replacement for their current CH-47C model aircraft," said Michael Tkach, vice president and general manager for Boeing's Rotorcraft Division. "We look forward to working together in equipping the Italian Army with the world's most versatile and effective transport helicopter, the CH-47F."

"This MOU with Boeing marks the next step in the long and successful collaboration between the two companies. It also will allow us to strengthen our long-lasting relationship as the CH-47 supplier for the Italian Army," said Giuseppe Orsi, AgustaWestland CEO.

The CH-47F Chinook features a new airframe, improved flight controls, advanced avionics and communications capability as well as advanced survivability measures and transportability features. The aircraft currently is in production, and deliveries to the U.S. Army began in December 2006.

The Italian Army fleet of Chinooks is currently used for peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and firefighting missions demonstrating the unique versatility and multi-mission capability of this helicopter.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Boeing Signs Contract for Dutch Chinooks Reply with quote

Deal marks first international sale of CH-47F

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 15, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today signed a direct commercial sales agreement with the Defence Materiel Organization of the Dutch Ministry of Defense for six new-build CH-47F (NL) Chinook helicopters. The agreement, which marks the first international sale of the CH-47F, provides for non-recurring development, production and post-delivery aircraft support.

The Netherlands-unique version of the U.S. Army CH-47F will include a next-generation Honeywell Avionics Control and Management System (ACMS) cockpit avionics suite, an integrated forward-looking infrared capability and several other newly developed multi-mission features.

"This contract exemplifies the Royal Netherlands Air Force's commitment to its forces," said Jack Dougherty, director, Boeing H-47 Programs. "The new CH-47F (NL) will provide the Dutch military a multi-mission asset today and well into the future."

"The CH-47F (NL) program covers a much needed expansion of our Chinook fleet, both in numbers and capabilities," said Lt. Col. Walter Smit, CH-47F (NL) project manager for the Defense Materiel Organization.

According to the agreement, aircraft deliveries will occur between July 2009 and January 2010. In addition to the new ACMS cockpit, the aircraft will feature next-generation, improved situational awareness and survivability features, special operations equipment and a modernized airframe. The RNLAF Chinook fleet serves with the 298 Squadron based at Soesterberg Air Force Base and supports the Dutch Air Mobile Brigade, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and United Nations operations.
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