Choppers Land at Ft. Leonard Wood
Blackhawk helicoptors based in Jefferson City outgrew those facilities, so they flew to their new home in Pulaski County.
"It got to the point where we didn't have enough room to work on aircraft assigned to this particular unit in Jefferson City," said Col. John Salchow, state aviation officer.
So the 10 choppers and 34 full-time support staff moved to a new hanger at Ft. Leonard Wood.
While other states face base shutdowns, Sen. Kit Bond says Missouri can keep its open by focusing on the military's current needs.
"In other areas, they've made changes where the facilities are outdated, no longer needed. This replaces an outdated facility," explained Bond. "Now, anybody who doesn't think we're going to continue to need Blackhawk helicopters in large numbers just doesn't know what the world is like."
And Guard members say the new facility will meet future needs.
"The biggest problem we had was with the 4-rotor aircraft, and pretty much everything's gone that way," said Salchow. "So, this facility will be serviceable for many years ahead."
Soldiers say it's just another step to keep Ft. Leonard Wood relevant, and open, in the future.