Panama receives six UH-1H Huey II helicopters

Six Bell UH-1H(S) Iroquois (UH-1H Huey II) helicopters have been delivered to Panama by the US government as part of the Merida Initiative – a security co-operation agreement to combat drug-trafficking, transnational organised crime and money laundering in Central America.

Panama receives six UH-1H Huey II helicopters
The former US Department of State Air Wing UH-1Hs at the handover ceremony at Teniente Octavio Rodríguez Garrido air base. (Photo by SENAN)

Formal transfer of the six Huey IIs took place on June 28 at the Servicio Nacionale Aeronaval’s (SENAN’s, National Naval Air Service’s) Teniente Octavio Rodríguez Garrido air base in Panama Pacifico.

The helicopters, which had previously been operating in the country as part of the US Department of State Air Wing, comprised 70-16276/N276WR (c/n 12581), 72-21636/N636WW (c/n 13335), 72-21637/ N637WN (c/n 13336), 73-21668/N668WC (c/n 13356), 73-21786/N786AW (c/n 13474) and 72-22448/ N448WC (c/n 13772).

They will be used to carry out operations for SENAN and the Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (SENAFRONT, National Border Service), including security missions, search and rescue, medical evacuation and humanitarian aid. The helicopters were supplied through the aviation programme of the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the US government will continue to provide maintenance and training on the type for SENAN pilots until 2023 under a project valued at US$30m. Since 2014, the INL helicopters had conducted 6,800 flight hours in support of Panama’s security agencies, strengthening their presence in remote areas, a role which SENAN can now undertake itself with the same helicopters.

Source: By Dave Allport / AirForces Monthly – September 2019

Antonio Gonzalez (Latin American ©XAirForces Editor from Mexico)

Panama ©XAirForces Aviation News

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *