U.S. Park Police Celebrates Half a Century Flying Bell Aircraft


Bell teammates joined over 120 esteemed dignitaries that gathered at the U.S. Park Police (USPP)’s Washington D.C. headquarters, more commonly known by the USPP as the ‘Eagle’s Nest’, to celebrate the Unit’s 50-year anniversary, their life-saving accomplishments while utilizing Bell aircraft, and the exclusive use of Bell aircraft since their inception.


“Bell congratulates the USPP’s Aviation Unit for protecting our nation’s valuable assets and serving people across the country for the past 50 years,” said Terry Miyauchi, public safety manager, Bell. “We continue to proudly support the vast missions of the USPP and the dedication of the flight crews.”

In 1973, the USPP started their Aviation Unit with three pilots, three rescue technicians, and a Bell 206B Jet Ranger. Over a course of ten years, the Unit expanded their mission base by adding a Bell 206B-3 Jet Ranger and a Bell 206L-3 Long Ranger to their fleet.

Today, the USPP Aviation Unit currently utilizes two Bell 412s and a Bell 206L-3. Operating as a unit under the National Park Service, the USPP provides services to Federal parks and monuments within the national capital region. USPP Aviation Unit relies on their Bell 206L-3 and Bell 412s to provide law enforcement, medevac, search and rescue, high-risk prisoner transport, and Presidential and dignitary security support.


50 years of Honor, Integrity, and Service: USPP heroic actions using Bell 412s in response to 9/11 terrorist attacks

Over their 50 years of service, the USPP Aviation Unit has provided countless aid during dire situations that require urgent action. During the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, USPP Aviation Unit notably jumped into action using their Bell 412 duo as they courageously responded to people in need of life-saving care.

After receiving a call from the ‘aircraft crash phone’ indicating that a commercial airplane crashed near the Pentagon, the USPP Aviation Unit started up one of their Bell 412s, Eagle I, and headed directly towards the Pentagon to respond to the crash within two-three minutes of the call. Following their takeoff, the USPP aviation crew installed a mass casualty kit aboard the Unit’s second Bell 412, Eagle II, taking off within minutes of Eagle I. Upon arrival, both Eagle I and Eagle II immediately began providing emergency medical evacuations of critically injured people near the scene.

As they transported several injured victims to the hospital for immediate care, the crew also used their Bell 412s to serve as a command-and-control platform, providing federal and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Secret Service, with critical safety information as they monitored the situation from the heavily smoke-filled sky. Using the Bell 412’s downlink capabilities, the crew was able to fly over the Pentagon and transmit images instantaneously to the agencies on the ground to scope out the damages from the attack.

In addition to the downlink capabilities, the crew spent several hours utilizing the Bell 412’s infrared heat detection device (FLIR) that allowed the USPP to locate where the fires were and transmit the information to the fire departments on the ground.

In the days immediately following September 11th, the USPP Aviation Unit continued to use their Bell 412s for a variety of support missions, including assisting the Secret Service with providing protection for the president and the White House.

“The self-less and lifesaving actions of the USPP flight crews and medical professionals aboard the Bell 412s that day were beyond courageous and honorable,” added Terry. “Time and time again, the advanced capabilities and enhanced reliability of the Bell 412 continues to aid our customers with the ability to focus on what’s most important – saving lives.”

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The Bell 412 remains one of the most sought-after public safety aircrafts on the market. With its easily configurable cabin that can accommodate a wide array of mission-specific equipment, an advanced avionics suite equipped with four digital displays, and two high-performance Pratt & Whitney engines, this multi-mission aircraft continues to take public safety agencies to the next level that help keep people safe.  

Gianna Messina

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Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

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About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

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