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"Lakota" flies first mission in the National Capital Region

Feb 16, 2011

By George Markfelder, JFHQ NCR/MDW Public Affairs & Capt. Jessica Hegenbart, Bravo Company Commander

The first operational mission of the Army's latest helicopter to fly in the National Capital Region, the "Lakota" UH-72A, took place Feb. 11.

Three members of Bravo Company's Black sheep, 12th Aviation Battalion, Pilot Chief Warrant Officer Three Andre Kidd, Co-pilot Chief Warrant Officer Two Matthew Covell and Crew Chief Specialist Kyle Shields' historic mission brought Major General James L. Hodge, Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command Sustainment Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, VA to Fort McNair.

The UH-72A twin engine helicopter is an essential enabler during contingency missions by providing enhanced defense support to civil authorities and as well as providing secure passenger transportation within the National Capital Region.

Bravo Company is a new company to the 12th Aviation Battalion. The original Bravo Company flew the UH-1 Huey helicopters, and was de-activated in 1998. Bravo Company was re-activated in October 2009 to prepare for the arrival of the UH-72 helicopters that began arriving in July 2010. The company currently has 7 UH-72 helicopters with one more on the way later this year.

Since the new helicopters arrived last summer, Black Sheep instructors Chief Warrant Officer Four Eric Oleson and Chief Warrant Officer Three James Lamb have worked diligently to train 17 pilots in the Lakota in seven months. Shields along with Specialist John Flores trained 10 crew chiefs.

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