12-Apr-2011 Source: US Coast Guard
HONOLULU â€“ Coast Guard aircrews at Air Station Barbers Point received the second of four new multi-mission helicopters Saturday.
The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, closely resembling an HH-65 Dolphin, includes a multitude of new equipment to further enhance mission capabilities. The new aircraft are replacing the four Dolphins currently in service at the air station.
The MH-65 adds new communications systems to an already capable platform. Such improvements include satellite communication capability and the ability for an aircrew to communicate with federal, state and local law enforcement and emergency services. These upgrades greatly increase the Coast Guardâ€™s ability to cooperate with local agencies throughout the Hawaiian Islands in the event of an emergency.
The MH-65 can accommodate a pilotâ€™s head-up display and night vision optics to enhance the aircrewâ€™s ability to operate around the clock.
â€œThe MH-65 is really going to enhance the way we operate throughout the Hawaiian Islands,â€ said Lt. j.g. Jason Gross, an MH-65 pilot stationed at Air Station Barbers Point. â€œWe will now be able to much more easily communicate when we are working with our partner agencies, whether they be local law enforcement, fire departments, or military.Â Overall, I believe this helicopter is a great asset and will help us do great things here in Hawaii.â€
Additionally, the new and enhanced DF-430 adds the capability of the helicopter to direction find on 406 MHZ Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon signals, allowing quicker location of distressed mariners.
Two more MH-65â€™s are scheduled to arrive in May, making Air Station Barbers Pointâ€™s helicopter fleet a complete MH unit.