Posted: Thursday, January 21st, 2016. 2:22 p.m. CST.
By Aaron Humes: Courtesy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Belize Defence Force (BDF) has acquired a pair of UH1H Huey helicopters to be used in building air support for the national army.
But they cannot be used just yet; the aircraft are not fully assembled and once the containers are secured from the Port of Belize, a team of engineers and pilots will put the Hueys together and run them through tests for airworthiness before they are formally handed over in March.
The BDF already has possession of a Bell helicopter downed in the Blue Creek, Orange Walk area in August 2015 which went unclaimed.
According to Force Commander Brigadier General David Jones, the Bell 407 will be used along with the Hueys for operations along the western border with Guatemala, including search and rescue, troop insertion and extraction and dropping off of supplies and other uses.
General Jones says the army will decide between two contractors who will offer helicopter training for pilots of the BDF and expects that all three helicopters will be up and running by the end of 2016, making the BDF’s job much easier.
The helicopters will be transported from the Port of Belize to the Williamson Hangar Complex in Ladyville by the end of the week.
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