Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) and Congressman Ed Royce (CA-39) announced that the California National Guard will be receiving upgraded Blackhawk helicopters. Specifically, the Guard’s old UH-60L/A Blackhawks will be replaced by with UH-60M Mike models.
“The California National Guard deserves modern equipment to carry out its mission,” said Rep. Calvert. “Providing our Guard with these upgraded Blackhawks has been a high priority. In recent days, the Guard has utilized its Blackhawk fleet to help combat the California wildfires. With upgraded aircraft, the Guard will be in a better position to help California.”
“Investing in California’s National Guard has proven to save countless lives when unexpected danger strikes,” said Rep. Royce. “In Southern California, the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) is vitally important to federal and state contingency operations and is essential to keeping the public safe. The addition of the upgraded Blackhawk helicopters means that JFTB will be able to better serve Californians when we need them the most.”
"The Cal Guard is the nation's most frequently deployed National Guard force, and our Black Hawk helicopters are pivotal to many of our missions. Whether it's battling wildfires at home or terror overseas, these cutting-edge aircraft enhance our ability to respond when California or the nation calls," said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General of the California National Guard. "I'm grateful to Congressman Calvert and Congressman Royce for their ongoing dedication to our Guardsmen. They understand our soldiers need the best and latest tools to accomplish their mission."
Rep. Calvert, Vice-Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Rep. Royce, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, led the effort along with other California members to advocate for the Guard’s Blackhawk upgrade through the Defense authorization and appropriations bills. The California National Guard currently has one of the oldest Blackhawk fleets while also having one of the highest utilization rates.