The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department unveiled its new helicopter on Tuesday.
The new helicopter is an Airbus AS350B3e, which will help game wardens with law enforcement initiatives statewide and assist with search-and-rescue and disaster response efforts.
The aircraft is outfitted with the latest technology and emergency response equipment, including a rescue hoist, thermal imager, searchlight, public address system, satellite communication and night vision.
Funding for the new aircraft, which cost the TPWD about $55 million, was made possible with a legislative appropriation during the most recent session.
“This helicopter is going to be a tremendous asset and force multiplier for the Texas game wardens,” Col. Craig Hunter, TPWD law enforcement director, said.
“We will not only be able to move personnel and equipment across the state,” Hunter continued, “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.”
The new aircraft will be able to carry more game wardens, including its K-9 teams, and other specially trained personnel. The department also features a fixed-wing 2009 Turbo Cessna.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. (Logo provided by the TPWD, no copyright infringement inferred)