Local News

New Attack Choppers Supplement NC Guard Force

Posted January 6, 2008 6:10 p.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2008 12:56 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina National Guard added 12 upgraded attack helicopters Sunday to the unit based at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Twenty-four are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

The AH-64(D) Longbow aircraft are upgraded versions of the Army's Apache attack helicopters. The Longbow has improved fire-control radar and radar guided Hellfire missiles. The Army also ordered improved engines for the new model.

The choppers that came into service Sunday are part of the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion of the Guard's 130th Aviation Regiment. The 1st of the 130th is the first operational reserve unit in the Army to get the new model  helicopter, Maj. Matt Handley, a Guard public information officer said.

Maj. Gen. William E. Ingram Jr., adjutant general of the state's National Guard, spoke at a ceremony marking the arrival.