The Oklahoma Army National Guard will be getting some new helicopters later this year. In an announcement Thursday, the National Guard says it will receive four Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota helicopters.
The helicopters will replace four Bell OH-58C Kiowa helicopters that have been in service for more than 30 years.
The first two Lakotas are scheduled to arrive in Oklahoma in April with the final two following in May.
The National Guard says the UH-72A is a twin-engine platform with a single four-bladed main rotor and was designed as a light utility helicopter for the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard. It's built by EADS North America.
The Guard says the helicopters will significantly increase its ability to conduct emergency support missions. Their primary missions will include homeland security, disaster response, fire fighting command and control and medical evacuations.
Crews are currently undergoing training at several locations preparing for the helicopters' arrival.
Officials say initially the new helicopters will be stationed at the Army Aviation hanger at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, but may move to a new location in the OKC metro area in a few years.