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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Alabama Guard has new helicopter

The Alabama Army National Guard will unveil the newest addition to its aircraft inventory at a ceremony 10 a.m., Jan. 9 at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2, 5701 East Lake Boulevard in Birmingham.

The new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), the UH-72A Lakota, is a lightweight helicopter that is specifically tailored to support homeland security missions. The aircraft will be used for counterdrug operations and law enforcement support missions. The new UH-72 will help replace the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter on many Alabama National Guard counterdrug missions in support of law enforcement.

The Lakota is the first new aircraft to come directly to the Alabama National Guard in years. National Guard aircraft are normally former regular Army aircraft that have been replaced.

The UH-72, produced in Columbus, Miss, is a state of the art aircraft with twin engine reliability, modern navigation and communication systems and a proven record of commercial Aviation service.

UH-72s will be on display at the ceremony and senior Alabama National Guard members will be on-hand to welcome the new aircraft.


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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 

As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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