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MidWeek Staff

Wheeler Welcomes New Helicopters

By SGT. DANIEL SCHROEDER
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) at Wheeler Army Airfield has received upgraded models of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The arrival marks the beginning of replacing all UH-60L model aircraft with the newer UH-60M model.

The new model features several upgrades that increase the helicopter’s ability to support troops on the ground throughout the Pacific.

“The biggest improvement the M model employs is the new glass cockpit, increasing the situational awareness for the aircrew,” said Greg Shirley, a new-equipment training team government flight representative with Sikorsky Aircraft.

The model also has upgraded engines that produce more power and improved blades for better lift capabilities.

The brigade will receive nearly four dozen UH-60M helicopters from August 2013 to March 2014. Representatives from Sikorsky are training CAB soldiers on maintenance procedures and operation of the new digital systems.

“The new HH-60M MEDEVAC has infrared capability for flying in adverse weather, improved instruments and flight controls with the glass cockpit for pilots, and all are brand new for increased reliability,” said Col. Kenneth Hawley, 25th CAB Commander.

“This is the final modernization step for the 25th CAB, increasing the capabilities of the brigade to make it the most modern combat aviation brigade in the Army …”

Since the first UH-60M became operational in 2007, a total of 2,200 soldiers have been trained on the new Black Hawk. The 25th CAB is the sixth combat aviation brigade to receive the new aircraft.

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