25-Feb-2011 Source: South Dakota National Guard
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Soldiers from the South Dakota Army National Guardâ€™s aviation community and members of the Lakota Nation will be celebrating the arrival of the stateâ€™s newest helicopter, named â€œLakotaâ€ by the U.S. Army, at a ceremony scheduled to be held at the Crazy Horse Monument near Custer on May 14, 2011.
Several UH-72A â€œLakotaâ€ Light Utility Helicopters, the newest aircraft in the U.S. Armyâ€™s inventory, will begin arriving later this spring to Delta Company, 1st/112th Security and Support Battalion. Soldiers in this newly-forming SDARNG aviation unit will utilize the Lakotaâ€™s non-combat capabilities to conduct their primary mission of medical transportation of the sick and wounded.
â€œIn addition to the ceremony being held at Crazy Horse, the SDARNG is sponsoring two design contests to commemorate the Lakotaâ€™s arrival,â€ said Master Sgt. Kelly Moore, the senior aviation maintenance noncommissioned officer with the South Dakota National Guardâ€™s Joint Force Headquarters.
â€œThe first contest is for students in grades eight or lower to design several posters, using the Lakota culture and the helicopter as the theme,â€ Moore said. â€œThe second contest is for adults and students of grade nine or higher, with the winning design being used as the official unit patch worn on the uniform of all Delta Co. Soldiers,â€ he said.
Moore said he is confident that the Lakotaâ€™s mission, and the contests leading up to its arrival, will help to foster continued unity between the stateâ€™s civilian population and its uniformed service members.
â€œThe hope is to create opportunities within the Lakota Nation, as well as a stronger bond between the Lakota Nation and the South Dakota National Guard,â€ he said. Moore explained that during times of emergency, Soldiers flying the Lakota would be ready and available to help everyone who lives within the state.