26-Jan-2023 Source: Montana National Guard
Stationing helicopters full time in Billings will improve the National Guard’s ability to quickly respond to requests for assistance from authorities in Eastern Montana, Northern Wyoming, and the eastern Dakotas. In the past 12 months, Montana Army National Guard helicopters have rescued more than 90 people in the region following floods, accidents, and other emergencies. The new operations will also improve aircrew and Soldier training in the area.
To support training and real-world rescue helicopter missions, the facility will employ a team of 14 full-time and 90 part-time Soldiers who will work there. Most Army National Guard helicopters and aviation personnel will remain at the main Montana Army Aviation Support Facility, next to the Helena Regional Airport.
Military helicopter operations at the Billings Limited Army Aviation Support Facility begin following an extensive and deliberate Environmental Assessment which began in 2021. The process included several public comment periods, a public meeting, and discussions with community members and leaders from Billings, Yellowstone County, and surrounding areas. The Environmental Assessment was completed in December, with a finding of no significant impact.