The two H125s – also known as the UH-13 by the Brazilian Navy – were coming back home after spending five months in the Antarctic continent on board the “Ary Rongel” ship, one of the Navy’s research vessels, which along with fellow icebreaker, “Almirante Maximiliano”, participate every year in the Brazilian Antarctic Programme (PROANTAR).
“The helicopters of the Brazilian Navy’s HU-1 Helicopter Squadron have participated in the PROANTAR programme since the first campaign took place in 1981,” proudly declared Erikson Mendonça da Silva, Commander of the HU-1 Helicopter Squadron. “The two UH-13s were worth a little homage after having contributed to 33 successful missions in Antarctica!”
The Brazilian Navy is responsible for the logistics of the PROANTAR programme, which was born in 1981 to coordinate and provide operational support to Brazil’s research initiatives in the frozen continent, in areas which include oceanography, biology, glaciology, chemistry and meteorology.
As part of the logistics support, the Navy is in charge of the transport of personnel, equipment and supplies to Antarctica, but also assures the maintenance of Brazil’s Antarctic research Comandante Ferraz station, including its laboratories and shelters. The multi-mission capacity of the helicopters of the HU-1 Squadron as well as their reliability and performance in polar weather are real assets for the Navy’s very demanding operations in the Antarctica.