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A Black Hawk finds a New Home at a Proud Sac and Fox Nation

Black hawk helicopter monument. Standing in front of the monument are Sac and Fox Veterans and leaders.
A ribbon cutting marks the dedication of a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter at the Sac and Fox Nation Veterans Memorial in Stroud, Oklahoma, July 9. (Courtesy Photo by Mike Brown)

The Sauk (present day Sac) Nation’s newest resident, a 13,650-pound, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is the first of its kind to be placed as a monument in its new home on the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma.

The helicopter garnered its name in 1979 through an Army doctrine requiring all helicopters receive names that are associated with their abilities. They were fast, agile and their abilities to attack enemy flanks then fade away without a sense given to their location made them incredibly valuable. Indigenous Tribes conducted warfare in the same way making them difficult to subdue. To honor this representation the Army created the helicopter naming association with a tribal affiliation. This tradition is still carried forward today.

General Services Administration’s (GSA) role in moving the Black Hawk helicopter to its new home was made possible through partnerships and planning between the U.S. Army, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and additional support provided by the Black Hawk National Hockey League. GSA facilitated the exchange of assets making this helicopter the very first static aircraft to be moved into the hands of the BIA from the Army and then to be donated to the Sac and Fox Nation as a memorial. The BIA was providing the necessary grant funding to take full responsibility for the asset.

GSA’s Region 9 Personal Property Management office served as the conduit to facilitate the move of the decommissioned UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter from the Army into the hands of the Sac and Fox Nation where the name Black Hawk is synonymous with the people of the nation.

Black Hawk was a War Leader among his people and is revered with honor and respect by not only the Sac and Fox Nation veterans but those familiar with First Nations history.

“Black Hawk crosses the mind of all our veterans,” said Juaquin Hamilton, Sac and Fox historian. “He was known for his leadership among his people and his abilities on the battlefield where he earned his status as a warrior by leading successful raiding parties who chose to resist American expansion and refused a forced move west of the Mississippi.”

“Utilization and donation is the first part of the process of moving materials or goods from one agency to another,” said Sandra Klar, Utilization and Donation Branch Chief. “The reutilization of an asset saves taxpayer dollars and allows for another agency to benefit from the donation transfer.”

Klar further explained, “This process allows for materials/equipment/goods to be reused or repurposed, virtually extending its life expectancy.”

The UH-60A helicopter is now on display as a monument and a symbol of history and heritage of the Tribal Nation and the U.S. Army. The Black Hawk monument was unveiled during a celebration event this past July.