Troopers from the Connecticut Nationwide Guard’s Charlie Firm, third Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment out of Windsor Locks, retrieved a brand new UH-60M Blackhawk Helicopter from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and delivered it to the Military Aviation Help Facility in Windsor Locks, Conn. April 28, 2022. The addition of this new airframe completes a conversion of the unit’s 5 helicopters from the legacy L- mannequin to probably the most trendy M-model. Whereas the Military’s latest helicopter pilots come out of coaching well-versed on the M-model plane, the legacy pilots have been offered with a hefty studying curve. To develop into extra acquainted with the brand new airframe, pilots acquainted with the L-models attend a five-week coaching course and keep their certifications with at the very least 96 hours of flight coaching yearly, together with 18 in a flight simulator.

In keeping with U.S. Military Capt. Andrew Maher, commander of Charlie Firm, most new aviators come out of the schoolhouse educated on this new M-model, so changing the fleet creates a seamless transition from coaching to operational environments. “Everybody loves [the new model],” stated Maher. “The upgrades give us extra situational consciousness, scale back our workload, and permits us to finish extra advanced missions with much less stress.”


The brand new helicopter comes outfitted with a number of upgrades, together with wider blades for extra elevate capability, an auto-pilot function, a extra inflexible body, extra crash and electromagnetic safety, extra vibration absorption within the seats, a rotor break, and absolutely digital shows and navigation. The improve does extra than simply present comfort, nevertheless. For the reason that conversion course of started, the unit’s M-model craft have acquired not more than 100 whole flight hours, a stark distinction to the greater than 9,000 hours on the L-models which reduces the quantity of upkeep required, permitting the unit to maintain extra helicopter in a ready-status ought to they be wanted for a real-world mission.

To make room for the brand new helicopters, the previous frames have been transferred to different state’s Nationwide Guards, civilian organizations, and one was moved to the Theater Aviation Sustainment Upkeep Group (TASMG) in Groton. The UH-60 Blackhawk was first developed by Sikorsky in 1978 and has been the first multi-mission rotary plane since. The helicopter was constructed on the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, Connecticut and outfitted with extra modifications on the U.S. Military Communications-Electronics Analysis, Improvement, and Engineering Middle Flight Exercise at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Connecticut Nationwide Guardsmen assigned to Charlie Firm, third Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment conduct an inspection of a brand new UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst April 28, 2022. The acquisition of this helicopter completes the unit’s conversion from their previous L-model aircrafts to all-new M-model Blackhawks. ( Picture by Connecticut Nationwide Guard Public Affairs Workplace)