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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

JCSO Air Support Unit

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has announced the creation of a new Air Support Unit which will be comprised of 2 OH-58C helos and over 25 personnel.

The two helos, STAR 1 & STAR 2, will be based at the Bessemer Airport.

Congratulations to JCSO for this major step forward in crime fighting. A special thank you to Sgt. Randy Christian for providing the following information and pictures.


With the help/support of US Senator Jeff Sessions, two non-flyable OH-58C helicopters were obtained from Ft. Rucker through the Department of Defense 1033 excess property to law enforcement agencies with special emphasis given to counter-drug and counter-terrorism.

The Primary Mission of the Air Support Unit:

To enhance countywide officer and public safety by providing effective aerial support to Jefferson County law enforcement agencies and to enhance the effectiveness of federal, state and local law enforcement units by providing airborne surveillance, drug eradication, observation and reporting of criminal activity.

The Secondary Mission of the Air Support Unit:

To save lives and mitigate suffering by providing search and rescue activities; to fill a rescue/extraction aircraft role in the County's Emergency Medical System; and to provide aerial support for Homeland Security efforts in Jefferson County.

Air Support Unit Equipment:

2 - OH-58C Helicopters ( STAR 1 & STAR 2 )
Military Observation Jet Turbine Helicopters
Max Capacity of 4 people, 2 Flight Crew and 2 Passengers

Technical Information:

Size: Length 40'8" Width 7'3" Height 12'6"
Performance: 120 Knots, 2.5 hour endurance
Serial Number (C/N): 72-21176

Specialty Equipment:

SX-5 Starburst Illumination "Nite Sun" spotlight
Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) with object heat detection
Bell OH-58 High Skid landing gear
800 MHz Digital Motorola Interoperable Radio System
Garmen 296 Global Positioning System (GPS)
Aviator's Night Vision Goggles
Chopper Spotter ground handling equipment

N176JC prior to restoration...

Star 1 at Pemco for restoration...

The new JCSO Star 1...


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