UH-72A Lakota helicopters support Gulf Coast oil spill disaster response
Sixteen U.S. Army National Guard UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters are operating in the Gulf Coast region to support oil spill monitoring and response missions known as Operation Deepwater Horizon.
The sixteen Lakotas are assigned to Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida Army National Guard units who are providing observation, command and control and general aviation support to local, state and federal agencies responding to the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster.
During Operation Deepwater Horizon, these Lakotas have flown nearly 200 flight hours – monitoring buoys at oil containment areas and looking for breaks in oil booms.
The U.S. Army plans to acquire 345 UH-72As through 2015, and the service has ordered 182 of the helicopters so far – along with five H-72A versions acquired for the U.S. Navy, which have been delivered.