Air Station to hold ribbon-cutting for new Jayhawk helicopter model

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the establishment of the first operational MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter is scheduled 10 a.m. Thursday at Air Station Elizabeth City.

The MH-60T helicopter is the newest iteration of the HH-60J Jayhawk helicopter, featuring an updated glass cockpit, updated communications, and sensing and law enforcement equipment.

The MH-60T helicopter has been in operation at the air station since May 2009 and has executed several missions, such as a recent medevac operation involving a diver suffering from symptoms of decompression sickness off the coast of Wilmington, N.C.

“It’s a great asset, it increases our situational awareness with a moving map always depicted in front of us, we’re able to quickly make decisions and mitigate risk,” said Lt. Lance Leone, a pilot at the air station. “We have a really good weather radar now that’s able to pick up difference between heavy rain and light rain and also ground-mapping ability that helps us to stay away from danger.”

The ceremony will take place at the air station, located on Weeksville Road, in Hangar 55 immediately following the Ancient Albatross change of watch ceremony, in which Vice Adm. Vivien Crea will be relieved by Rear Adm. Gary Blore as the eldest winged Coast Guard aviator on active duty.

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