JEFFERSON CITY — After graduating on Dec. 9 from a six-week qualification course, Missouri State Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, is now certified to pilot the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The course was held at the Eastern Army Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, Pennsylvania. Senator Kraus is already a licensed CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilot.
“More than two decades ago, a love for our nation and a strong desire to serve compelled me to enlist in the Army, and it’s that same motivation that drives me to continue enhancing my skill set as a pilot,” said Sen. Kraus. “The Black Hawk is an incredibly versatile aircraft, capable of performing a wide range of missions, and I’m glad to know I will be able to serve my country in this new capacity, should the need ever arise.”
Developed by Sikorsky Aircraft, the Black Hawk helicopter is a multi-mission aircraft designed to transport troops in and out of combat and provide logistical support. It is used to conduct medical evacuations and search and rescue missions, deliver supplies during natural disasters, provide armed escort and more. The U.S. Army first used the Black Hawk in 1978 and to this day has more than 2,000 of these aircrafts in its service.
Senator Kraus graduated from flight school in 1999. In 2003, he served in Iraq as a platoon leader and his company’s ground convoy commander. While serving as an air mission commander in charge of missions involving multiple aircraft, he was responsible for making decisions that impacted hundreds of soldiers. Sen. Kraus continues to serve in the Missouri National Guard.
“Serving in our nation’s military has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” added Sen. Kraus. “It is also an honor that I am able to share with my oldest son, Tylor, who will be deploying to Afghanistan after Christmas to serve as a Chinook gunner. Our entire family is very proud of Tylor, and we’re looking forward to spending the holidays together before he heads overseas. This Christmas, and every day of the year, we ask you to please keep all of our military service personnel and their families — both here and abroad — in your thoughts and prayers.”