Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City helicopter transition will bring increased capabilities to Great Lakes

A pair of MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters on the flightline at Air Station Kodiak, May 13, 2016. The MH-60T has a maximum range of 700 nautical miles and can reach up to 180 knots. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Tracey Mertens, Coast Guard Auxiliary.

A pair of MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters on the flightline at Air Station Kodiak, May 13, 2016. The MH-60T has a maximum range of 700 nautical miles and can reach up to 180 knots. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Tracey Mertens, Coast Guard Auxiliary.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. –The Coast Guard will begin reallocation of its helicopter resources, replacing four MH-65 Dolphins at Coast Guard  Air Station Traverse City with three MH-60T Jayhawks, April 2017.

Safety of the public and our crews remains the Coast Guard’s top priority, and moving the MH-60 helicopters to Air Station Traverse City is putting the most capable resource for the Great Lakes region in this area.

Transitioning Air Station Traverse City from the MH-65 to the MH-60 provides increased response capabilities to all communities in the Great Lakes region.

The MH-60 is a medium-range helicopter that is able to fly twice as long as the MH-65 before refueling. This increased capability will provide more timely searches at the far reaches of Air Station Traverse City’s large area of responsibility. The MH-60 also has the ability to evacuate up to 15 people, something that is not possible with the MH-65.

Additionally, the MH-60 is equipped with engine anti-ice and rotor-blade de-icing systems which greatly improve flight safety during especially harsh winters that create aircraft icing conditions at very low altitudes.

The Coast Guard will continue to operate its Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, Illinois, during the busy summer months.

The first MH-60 is scheduled to arrive at Air Station Traverse City in April 2017. The air station will then begin shifting to MH-60 operations as MH-65s are transferred to other Coast Guard air stations. MH-60 aircrews will assume full operations between July 30, 2017, and Aug. 15, 2017, with the remaining MH-65 aircraft suspending operations in Traverse City no later than Sept. 30, 2017.

The Coast Guard first began flying MH-60 aircraft in 1990 and presently operates 42 MH-60T aircraft throughout the nation.

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