Local News Notebook

Locally-built UH-72A helicopter passes service milestone

The UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, which is supplied by EADS North America, has surpassed the 40,000-flight hour milestone in operational service with the U.S. Army and Army National Guard.
Built at the company’s American Eurocopter facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Lowndes County, a total of 138 Lakotas have been delivered to date for fielding to Army and Army National Guard units, which also includes five for the U.S. Navy, company officials said in a statement issued Tuesday.
This rotary-wing aircraft is operated by active duty Army and Army National Guard units in missions that include medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), search and rescue, drug interdiction, VIP transport and general aviation support.
“This new milestone once again demonstrates the UH-72A’s capability to meet our warfighters’ needs in a full range of missions and demanding operating conditions,” said Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS North America.
“The Lakota’s 40,000 flight hours also underscores our company’s dedication to deliver on its commitments to the U.S. Army – which has been a top priority for us since being selected for the Lakota program in 2006.”
The majority of UH-72As delivered to date are based at locations from coast to coast in the United States.
Other deployments have placed Lakotas with the National Guard in Puerto Rico, at the Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Germany, and on the Pacific Ocean’s Kwajalein Atoll in support of the Army’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site.
The fleet of Lakotas has consistently achieved an operational readiness rate greater than 90 percent.

Verizon activates new digital cell site in Starkville area

Communications carrier Verizon recently activated a new digital cell site in the Starkville area, company officials announced in a statement issued Tuesday.
This new site, which use high speed EV-DO and Rev. A technology, will enhance 3G coverage and service along South Montgomery Street and Oktoc Road and in the southeast area of Starkville, company officials said.
The site is one of many Verizon officials have brought online in north Mississippi, including four in the Golden Triangle region.
During the first nine months of 2010, Verizon has invested more than $3.5 million in north Mississippi to advance and expand its network capabilities.
 “A wireless device is only as good as the network on which it operates,” said Leo Perreault, executive director of network for Verizon.
“At Verizon, we are committed to providing the residents of North Mississippi with the largest and most reliable 3G network available.”