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Aviation Unit Celebrates 40th Anniversary

National Park News

The United States Park Police Aviation Unit celebrated its 40th anniversary on September 12th.

Established in April 1973, the aviation unit’s original staff consisted of three pilot police officers, three rescue technician police officers trained to the EMT level. The unit had one Bell 206B model helicopter and performed a variety of law enforcement, rescue, and medical evacuation work in the NPS National Capital Region.

Today the unit has grown to include a fleet of three helicopters and 16 personnel, including a commander, seven police officer pilots, seven police officer rescue technicians who are also nationally registered paramedics, and a full-time maintenance supervisor. 

The unit flies between 700 and 1,000 flight hours each year, conducting about 200-400 medical evacuations, numerous hoist rescues along the river at Great Falls National Park, at Shenandoah National Park, and other NPS areas in the region. The unit also flies numerous law enforcement and homeland security missions.

The United States Park Police Aviation Unit deployed a team to assist NPS recovery efforts after Hurricane’s Sandy and Katrina, and they were first on the scene at the Pentagon after the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

For further information contact, Lieutenant Simeon Klebaner (, 202-696-4956).


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