Defense

June 14, 2013

Last Air Force Huey starts new mission with NY police force

The last active UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, more commonly known as Huey, in the Air Force sits on the flightline June 5, 2013 at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Huey is scheduled for a 3-day flight to Latham, N.Y., where it will be a New York State Police aircraft.

 
 
The Air Force’s last operational UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, more commonly known as Huey, was recently transferred to New York State Police’s aviation unit as part of the Law Enforcement Support Organization Program at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 5.

The program’s purpose is to identify excess assets that are no longer in use by the Air Force, and have been requested by U.S. civilian law enforcement agencies.

Phil Napolitano prepares the UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, more commonly known as Huey, for takeoff on the flightline June 5, 2013, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Napolitano and his crew prepared the Huey for its three-day journey back to Latham, N.Y., to become a New York State Police aircraft. Napolitano is the chief pilot for the NYSP Aviation unit.

 
 
“It was a great opportunity for (Air Force Special Operations Command) to be able to give a helicopter like this to the law enforcement support agency supporting New York State Police aviation,” said Ben S. Harton Jr., the aerospace vehicle distribution officer for AFSOC.

NYSP Aviation crewmen arrived a week before the flight to see the Huey, and start the transfer of the helicopter with systems checks and small test flights to ensure the plane’s readiness for departure.

A New York State Police Aviation crew hovers in a UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, more commonly known as Huey, prior to departure from the flightline June 5, 2013, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Air Force transferred ownership of its last UH-1H Huey to the New Your State Police Aviation unit as part of the Law Enforcement Support Organization Program.

 
 
“It’s a great program; we’re getting a great piece of equipment from the military that’s being phased out because it not being used anymore,” said Phil Napolitano, the NYSP Aviation crew’s chief pilot. “When you buy an aircraft like this nowadays (new), you’re talking millions of dollars.”

The Huey is slated to be used primarily for utility, cargo and search and rescue missions because of its high cargo capacity, Napolitano said. The crew is scheduled to fly the helicopter to Latham, N.Y., making frequent stops along the way to check the status of the NYSP’s newest Huey addition.

 
 

New York State Police Aviation crew stands by their newly acquired UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, more commonly known as Huey, on the flightline June 5, 2013, at Hurlburt Field, Fla.The Air Force transferred ownership of its last UH-1H Huey to the New Your State Police Aviation unit as part of the Law Enforcement Support Organization Program.




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