January 20, 2011

Lakota celebrate Lakota helicopter

Native Sun News:  Army to celebrate arrival of 'Lakota' helicopter

By Lance Alan SchroederSoldiers from the South Dakota Army National Guard’s aviation community and members of the Lakota Nation will be celebrating the arrival of the state’s newest helicopter, named “Lakota” by the U.S. Army, at a ceremony scheduled to be held at the Crazy Horse Memorial on May 14, 2011.

Several UH-72A “Lakota” Light Utility Helicopters, the newest aircraft in the U.S. Army’s inventory, will begin arriving later this spring to Delta Company, 1st/112th Security and Support Battalion. Soldiers in this newly-forming SDARNG aviation unit will utilize the Lakota’s non-combat capabilities to conduct their primary mission of medical transportation of the sick and wounded.
And:Moore said he is confident that the Lakota’s mission, and the contests leading up to its arrival, will help to foster continued unity between the state’s civilian population and its uniformed service members.

“The hope is to create opportunities within the Lakota Nation, as well as a stronger bond between the Lakota Nation and the South Dakota National Guard,” he said. Moore explained that during times of emergency, Soldiers flying the Lakota would be ready and available to help everyone who lives within the state.
Comment:  I discussed this helicopter in The Army's Lakota Helicopter. I'm still of two minds. On the one hand, it's a military vehicle the Army will use in warfare. On the other hand, it serves a nonviolent purpose: transporting the sick and wounded.

For more on the Lakota and helicopters, see Helicopters Invited to Wounded Knee and Lakota Oppose Copters at Wounded Knee.


Burt said...

The US Army already has the Kiowa and Apache assault helicopters, but besides free doughnuts and coffee, I don't see any tribes being compensated for the use of these names?

Reminds me of Blazing Saddles where the "gov" exchanges Indian lands for a box full of toy paddleballs?

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:


Guard, Native communities gather to welcome new choppers

As 600 people gathered at Crazy Horse in a mix of Army issued camouflage and traditional Sioux regalia Sunday, it was clear more was being celebrated than a helicopter.

The ceremony in view of the famous Lakota chief Crazy Horse brought together representatives from four South Dakota tribes, National Guardsmen and veterans to commemorate the arrival of new light-utility helicopters named in honor of the Lakota nation.

Maj. Gen. Timothy Reisch, adjutant general of the South Dakota National Guard, signaled that the commemoration was a step toward continued cooperation and partnership with the Sioux Tribes within the state.

He pointed out that although Native Americans make up 9 percent of the state’s population, they account for just 3 percent of the state’s Guardsmen. Six weeks after taking over as the Guard’s new leader, and pledging to increase the number of Native Americans in the force, Reisch said the event would foster the relationship and “make our high-quality organization even better.”

“The fact we now have an aircraft named Lakota is truly significant,” Reisch said. “The Army took particular note of the Lakota legacy as stalwart defenders of their homeland when considering what to name this aircraft and I firmly believe that they got it right.”