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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Texas Game Wardens Strengthened by New Helicopter

On Dec. 23, the Texas Game Wardens unveiled their new Airbus AS350 B3e helicopter. The aircraft will enhance the department’s statewide law enforcement apparatus and assist with its search and rescue and disaster response efforts.


Photo by Chase Fountain, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 2014

The new AS350 B3e is outfitted with the latest law enforcement technology and emergency response equipment including a rescue hoist, thermal imager, searchlight, public address system, satellite communication and night vision. Among its many advantages is the ability to carry additional game wardens (including its K-9 teams) during remote search and rescue missions or other specially trained personnel for specific assignments.


Photo by Chase Fountain, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 2014

“This helicopter is going to be a tremendous asset and force multiplier for the Texas Game Wardens,” said Col. Craig Hunter, law enforcement director for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). “We will not only be able to more efficiently move personnel and equipment across the state, but with the addition of the new hoist system, we will be able to better leverage our marine and ground assets to enhance our search and rescue capabilities during times of disaster.”

Funding for the new aircraft, which was approximately $5 million, was made possible through legislative appropriation during the 83rd Texas Legislative session. In addition to the new helicopter, the department also has a fixed-wing 2009 Cessna Turbo 206.

Related: Public Service News

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