Serving community and country
It takes the right team, the right levels of preparedness, and the right tools to live up to the ambitious model of the U.S. Army National Guard: Always Ready, Always There.
The National Guard is the reserve component of the United States Army, with the purpose supplementing the U.S. Army with additional forces as needed, in times of peace but also at times of conflict. There are currently 54 organizations, including a National Guard unit for all 50 states, Washington D.C., and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
More than 450,000 Guard members serve a unique and essential role within American military operations. Founded as a citizen force with the objective of protecting families and communities from eventual attacks, the modern-day National Guard performs essential missions year-round, including domestic emergency and natural disaster response, search and rescue, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction, as well as overseas combat.
The National Guard is part of the U.S. Army, the oldest branch of the U.S. Military.
The Lakota helicopter legacy begins with the Army
The U.S. Army selected the UH-72A in 2006 to perform a wide array of missions including providing the support for the National Guard. Today the 212 Lakotas fielded to the National Guard enable missions as diverse as Domestic Operations, Search & Rescue, Counter-Drug and Homeland Security.
The Lakota is a mainstay of the National Guard’s Aviation capability in 47 states and territories. This includes some unique missions such as the High Altitude ARNG Training Site (HAATS) in Eagle, Colorado and the Western ARNG Aviation Training Site (WAATS) in Murana, Arizona.
The future of the Lakota - the UH-72B for the National Guard
In 2020, the Army placed a new order for the latest variant of the Lakota family of aircraft – the UH-72B. Part of the proven H145 family of aircraft, the UH-72B is the latest iteration of the same commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) aircraft that has been the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter since the first Lakota contract award in 2006. The Army is leveraging the benefits of a COTS program by receiving product improvements and enhancements through the evolution of the aircraft, without investing any government money into the research & development of those capabilities.
The UH-72B benefits from product improvements developed during the lifecycle of the commercial aircraft, including the Fenestron tail rotor, more powerful engines, the Helionix avionics suite, and the latest 5-blade rotor system. The U.S. Army National Guard will take delivery of their first UH-72B aircraft in the coming months.
“Airbus is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the U.S. Army and National Guard and our workforce of 40% veterans in Mississippi takes pride in continuing to serve their country by building aircraft that support the Guard’s critical missions, when they’re needed most,” said Scott Tumpak, VP military line of business for Airbus in the U.S.