MEDFORD - The owners of a helicopter that crashed and killed nine men fighting a California wildfire last year are moving some of their aircraft to Afghanistan, where they will haul supplies for the U.S. military.

The Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford reported that Carson Helicopters Inc. has signed a contract with a subsidiary of the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide to provide seven helicopters for supply missions.

The director of helicopter operations for Carson, Andy Mills, declined to identify the partner.

But the newspaper said court documents and Department of Defense records indicate the contract is with Presidential Airways Inc., a subsidiary of the North Carolina company that was known until last week as Blackwater Worldwide, now called Xe.

Carson's headquarters are in Perkasie, Pa., but it maintains an Oregon office in the town of Merlin.

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