State Provides Helicopter And Plane To Sheriff’s Department Gratis

(August 5) The  California Emergency Management Agency this week donated two aircraft to the sheriff’s department.
The board of supervisors on Tuesday approved the sheriff’s department’s request to participate in the  California Emergency Management Agency 1033 Excess Property Program. In this case, the state is making available one Bell UH-1H Huey helicopter and one Beechcraft C-12 King Air fixed-wing aircraft.
According to sheriff’s captain Dale Gregory, “The department is requesting approval to accept two military surplus aircraft from the California Emergency Management Agency 1033 Excess Property Program. Both aircraft are airworthy. The UH-1H Huey helicopter (Serial No. 69-15588) would be used for training and for medical and personnel transportation. The King Air fixed-wing aircraft (Serial No. N783MC/BC02) would be used for staff and prisoner transportation and would replace the department’s existing Commander fixed-wing aircraft.”
Gregory continued, “The cost to put these two aircraft into service is estimated at $700,000, $200,000 for the fixed-wing and $500,000 for the helicopter. This cost will be fully offset by proceeds from the sale of the existing Commander fixed-wing aircraft. Once the King Air is put into service, the department will request approval for the surplus sale of the Commander, which has an appraised value of $1.3 million.”
Under Section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1996, the U.S. Secretary of Defense is authorized to transfer excess Department of   Defense personal property to local law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes.
On April 14, 2009, the board of supervisors approved the sheriff’s department’s request to submit its intent to obtain up to five flyable UH-1H helicopters through the 1033 Program when they became  available. The County currently has two UH-1H helicopters that are used primarily for rescue, drug interdiction, firefighting, rapid response for SWAT, evacuations, and mass casualty incidents. The Department had a third UH-1H helicopter that it had received on loan from the  State of California, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in 1992. This aircraft was used for firefighting activities and was returned to
the State in 2013.
According to Gregory, “The loss of this aircraft has significantly impacted the department’s ability to respond to fire, search and rescue and law enforcement missions. On March 11, 2014, the board accepted two UH-1H Huey helicopters through the 1033 Program. The department’s intent is to put one aircraft into service and use the other for spare parts to service its fleet. The acquisition will restore the department’s helicopter fleet of UH-1H helicopters.”
Additionally, the sheriff’s department was recently advised that a King Air fixed-wing aircraft is available that is surplus to the needs of the Department of Homeland Security in San Antonio Texas. The sheriff’s department currently utilizes one King Air and one Commander as its primary transportation aircraft. Pending available funding, the department’s aircraft replacement plan includes selling the Commander aircraft and acquiring a second King Air, thereby standardizing its primary transportation aircraft. The Commander, which was purchased in 2001 for $2 million is costly to maintain, with only three authorized service centers on the west coast. That aircraft also requires specialized pilot licensing which is also cost prohibitive. The Commander was recently appraised for $1.3 million.
According to Gregory, “Receiving a surplus King Air would accelerate the aircraft replacement plan by providing an aircraft at no cost. Once the surplus King Air is put into service, the Department would return to the board to authorize the surplus sale of the Commander.”
Under the terms of the 1033 Program, once an aircraft is no longer needed by the recipient agency, yet remains airworthy, the agency must return the aircraft to the Department of Defense so that it can be made available to other 1033 recipients.

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