The Alabama Army National Guard has received four UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters from EADS North America.

Based at the army aviation support facility in Birmingham, the four helicopters are assigned to the army’s Detachment 1, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment.

The helicopters will replace the aging OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and perform federal level missions including aerial command, control and reconnaissance in homeland security operations.

Alabama National Guard State Army Aviation Officer Colonel Charles A Bonasera said the aircraft brought the Alabama National Guard a much greater capability than its predecessor in the conduct of homeland security / support mission requirements.

The new aircraft will enable the aging National Guard OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired and free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to combat missions.

Up to date, EADS has delivered 93 Lakotas, which are based at active duty army and army national guard locations throughout the US and in Puerto Rico.

The US Army is expected to acquire a total 345 Lakotas during 2015 for missions including homeland security and drug interdiction to general support, logistics and medical evacuation flights and future UH-72A deployments include Pacific, Europe and Japan.