By Adriane ElliotSeptember 6, 2016
Black Hawk helicopters acquired through foreign military sales provided aerial surveillance over Rio de Janeiro during this year's Summer Olympics.
Those Black Hawks were some of the 16 provided to Brazil between 2010 and 2012 as part of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command foreign military sales program.
Michael Kyle Crawford, USASAC's Brazil country program manager, said the UH-60L helicopter FMS case aided the South American country in modernizing its aviation fleet.
"Brazil is one of the largest economies in the world and has supported such recent events as the World Cup in 2014 and this year's Olympics," Crawford said.
But long before making an appearance at the summer games, this military mainstay was hard at work at home and abroad.
Several variants of the four-bladed, twin-engine medium lift helicopter have been in use by the U.S. Army since 1979. Modified versions were developed for the other branches of service, and the Black Hawk has served in combat in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East.
Long known as a workhorse of the Army aviation, the Black Hawk has performed countless missions, serving at various times throughout history as a gunship, troop transport, for search-and-rescue and medical evacuation, and electronic warfare missions.
Through USASAC's FMS program, it is being used throughout the globe by several partner nations.
"The relationships that have been established between the U.S. Army and Brazil through FMS are substantial, and were only achieved through trust and teamwork," Crawford said. "It is a great example of an FMS success -- relationships have been forged, and the end goal of increasing partner capacity has been achieved."
Brazil's civil use of the Black Hawk shows the far-reaching impact of Army FMS.
"The use of the UH-60L to support a global event like the Olympics shows that our efforts at USASAC have global implications," Crawford said.
USASAC lives up to its claim of being "The Army's Face to the World."