WHEELING, W.Va. — West Virginia National Guard officials have unveiled the latest tool in a battalion’s arsenal — UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.
The Journal reports the nine helicopters will be used by aviators at Company C, 1st Battalion, 150th Aviation Regiment.
The aircraft will be based in Wheeling at the Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility, where the 150th is located.
A member of the West Virginia National Guard has been recognized for saving the lives of more than 14 people during one night of the state’s historic flooding last year.
Maj. Fred Nicely says stepping into the new Black Hawk model is like "being a kid on Christmas morning."
For decades, missions by battalion aviators were done in older-model, hand-me-down helicopters — first the Bell UH-1 “Huey” and, starting in 2002, Sikorsky’s UH-60A/L Black Hawk.
The 150th deployed overseas twice since Sept. 11, 2001 — to Iraq in 2005 and to Bosnia/Kosovo in 2010-11.
It also serves West Virginians in times of need.
Sixteen years ago at age 41, Monica Willis, then a member of the Cross Lanes-based Army Reserve’s 261st Ordnance Co., was looking forward to what was to have been a deployment to Iraq.