The Hawaii Army National Guard’s newest unit has received three HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters. The Blackhawks were offloaded from a C-17 transport at the Kalaeloa Airfield today. They will be assembled on-site and operate out of Wheeler Army Air Field until a new facility at Kalaeloa is completed.
Detachment 1, Company G, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment is a new aeromedical evacuation unit and is in the process of filling its ranks. The detachment’s mission is to provide MEDEVAC support to military entities. The unit will have about 30 soldiers, most of whom will be drill status, or part-time forces. The unit will not provide full-time support to civil authorities, but when fully staffed, it may provide supplemental support.
This unit is one of the most requested types of units to deploy, with its specialty of MEDEVAC being in high demand.
The new Blackhawk models have a couple of features that differentiate them from the HIARNG’s current UH-60M Blackhawks. These HH-60M have an external hoist, a Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) and the capability to carry six litter patients or six ambulatory (or three of each patients) within its MEDEVAC cabin configuration. The four-person crew is made up of two pilots, one crew chief and one flight medic.
It will initially operate from Wheeler Army Airfield, Army Aviation Support Facility #1, until administrative requirements are completed. The new unit will then operate from the nearly completed Army Aviation Support Facility located at Kalaeloa. The Kalaeloa AASF cost $32.6 million and is being built by Watts Constructors, LLC. The estimated completion date is November 2016. The Kalaeloa AASF will encompass almost 67,000 square feet and will have a large hangar to support aircraft as well as an administrative area for classrooms, restrooms, conference rooms and offices.