Maj. Gen. David J. Francis, U.S. Army Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commander, and Brig. Gen. Paula C. Lodi, deputy commander (support), U.S. Army Medical Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, cut the ribbon on the MEDEVAC aircraft 26995 capability development tool during an unveiling ceremony at Fort Rucker, Alabama, April 14, 2022.
The aircraft is the only HH-60 static display in the Department of Defense, and will help inform and modernize the HH-60 and inform decisions for Future Vertical Lift.
The L model HH-60 Black Hawk was the first rotary wing aircraft after the UH-1 “Huey” to have design features incorporated uniquely for the medevac mission.
This aircraft served multiple combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It was retired in 2014, and then served as a maintenance training aircraft at Fort Eustis, Va., providing a quality teaching benefit to the Army’s 15 series maintenance personnel.
Only a few of its kind were produced, and it is the last surviving HH-60L in the Army.
“Indeed ‘greater love hath no man than this that one should lay down his life for his friends’, and that exemplifies the spirit of 995 and the medevac mission,” said Lodi, during her remarks. “Today we have an opportunity to both honor and demonstrate learning from the past, but do so with an eye towards the future."
The project is nearly two years in the making, according to Col. Samuel L. Fricks chief of Army Future Command’s Medical Evacuation Concepts and Capabilities Division, Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate.
“Unlike most aircraft on display, 995 still has a mission—that of capability development,” said Fricks. “It will help improve patient care in current and future systems, as we’re able to test concepts and conduct studies onsite.”
Fricks thanked the DUSTOFF Association for providing the financial gift to Fort Rucker for the permanent mooring of the aircraft.