REISTERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Army National Guard is welcoming a new set of helicopters.

The Guard’s 1-224th Aviation Security and Support Battalion is holding an orientation event at Camp Fretterd on Wednesday to mark the arrival of the first of four UH-72A “Lakota” helicopters.

They replace four Vietnam War-era OH-58 “Kiowa” helicopters.

The new aircraft can be used for medical evacuation, search and rescue, drug interdiction, transportation and general aviation support.

The first Lakota arrived earlier this month and the other three will arrive later this month and next. Two will deploy in June to the nation’s southwest border to support the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency through the end of the year. Six soldiers who have been trained to fly the helicopters will rotate through the deployment.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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