Helicopters will now be stationed full-time in Billings, Montana, to improve the National Guard’s ability to respond quickly to requests for assistance.
These helicopters can assist authorities in Eastern Montana, Northern Wyoming and the Eastern Dakotas. Over the past 12 months, Montana Army National Guard has rescued more than 90 people in this region after flooding, accidents and other emergencies.
The new operations will also improve the training of aircrew and soldiers in the area.
To support both the rescue helicopter missions and training, the facility at Billings will employ 14 full-time and 90 part-time soldiers. Most Army National Guard helicopters and aviation personnel will remain at the main Montana Army Aviation Support Facility, next to the Helena Regional Airport.
Military helicopter operations at the Billings Limited Army Aviation Support Facility have been given the approval to go ahead, after an Environmental Assessment in December concluded that it would have no significant impact on the environment.
This process began in 2021 and included several public comment periods, a public meeting, and discussions with community members and leaders from Billings, Yellowstone County and surrounding areas.