Since 1995, MH-65 helicopters have been utilized at Air Station Traverse City in search and rescue missions throughout the Great Lakes region.
While assigned to Air Station Traverse City, MH-65 helicopters flew more than 63,000 hours, with 11,861 in support of search and rescue. Over their 32 years of service across the Great Lakes, Traverse City’s MH-65 crews responded to nearly 4,600 distress calls, saved 208 lives, assisted 365 others, and saved or protected more than $370,000 worth of property.
In honor of the heroic work of those crews and aircraft, the air station will be hosting local government officials, former MH-65 pilots and crew, and media to give a warm send-off to Air Station Traverse City’s last MH-65 on Monday afternoon.
This event will also mark the completion of the Air Station’s MH-65 to MH-60 helicopter transition. This summer, Air Station Traverse City transitioned from operating the MH-65D to the MH-60T.
This change provides a three-fold benefit to the service and Great Lakes region.
— First, the Coast Guard has long identified the MH-60 as the helicopter most suited for responding to urgent missions throughout the expansive Great Lakes region, especially during the harsh winter conditions experienced here.
— Second, the Coast Guard will bolster its counter drug operational capabilities by transferring a MH-65 assigned to Air Station Traverse City to Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron in Jacksonville, Florida.
— Third, one of the unit’s aircraft will be transferred to the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, to support a fleetwide transition and training initiative associated with an MH-65 modernization effort.