A squadron of brand new military helicopters could soon be based at the Des Moines Airport. The Iowa National Guard has started receiving the latest model of Black Hawks (UH-60 Mike), to replace older aircraft that have been based in Boone. The Des Moines air base has available hanger space to keep the expensive choppers protected from inclement weather, according to Warrant Officer Joedy Vanvelzen.
“If we had one catastrophic hail storm it would create millions of dollars of damage to the aircraft that would be outside and exposed to the weather if we just had a place to keep them inside. At our Boone facility we can only put three or four inside right now.”
The upgrade could involve eight to ten helicopters. If approved by the Secretary of the Air Force, Black Hawks would no longer be home based in Boone.