- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona Army National Guard helicopter unit is headed overseas.

The 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion of the 285th Aviation Regiment will deploy to Kosovo in southeastern Europe for nine months for a NATO peacekeeping mission.

The aviation unit flies UC-60 Blackhawk transport helicopters.

A National, Guard spokesman, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Freese, said the battalion will take its Blackhawks with it to a U.S. base for redeployment training.

However, he says the unit’s helicopters will return to Arizona while the battalion’s nearly 150 soldiers travel to Kosovo, where they will use U.S. Army equipment during their deployment.

The Blackhawks’ military roles include transporting troops on assault missions, evacuating wounded soldiers and delivering supplies and equipment.

The National Guard’s Blackhawks can support civilian authorities in situations such as wildfires and flooding.

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