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Andrews Plans to Swap its Vietnam-Era Huey Helicopters for the New Grey Wolf

Jun 17, 2022
The Air Drive has chosen Joint Base Andrews in Maryland as the most recent location to host its new Gray Wolf helicopters because it begins to retire growing old Vietnam-era choppers from the fleet.

However the service nonetheless should conduct an environmental evaluation in the summertime of 2023 earlier than the choice is finalized. If the research goes properly, Andrews will be part of Malmstrom Air Drive Base, Montana; Minot Air Drive Base, North Dakota; and F.E. Warren Air Drive Base, Wyoming, as the most recent set up to obtain the fashionable helicopter.

Andrews presently has 21 UH-1N Hueys connected to the first Helicopter Squadron; the plane have been in operation by the U.S. army because the late Nineteen Sixties.

Since 1969, the first Helicopter Squadron has used the Huey to supply transport for high-ranking officers, emergency medical conditions and search-and-rescue operations, typically ferrying cupboard officers across the Nationwide Capital Area.



The Air Drive recently introduced that it’ll substitute the squadron’s Hueys with 25 MH-139 Gray Wolves, which supply elevated pace, vary and payload.

“The extra 4 plane will permit the bottom to execute continuation of presidency operations and distinguished customer transport mission necessities with out augmenting assist models,” the Air Drive stated in a press launch.

Altering out the plane would require extra airmen to supply upkeep and assist to the Gray Wolves. The Air Drive expects manpower wants “will develop from 235 personnel to roughly 310,” in response to the press launch.

The Air Drive’s announcement is the most recent improvement in a virtually five-year effort to switch its growing old helicopter fleet. In 2018, the service picked Boeing Co. to construct the alternative for its UH-1N helicopter, at a price of roughly $2.38 billion, and plans to buy 84 MH-139 helicopters, together with upkeep and assist tools, over the subsequent decade.

In 2020, it was introduced that Maxwell Air Drive Base in Montgomery, Alabama, could be the popular web site to coach pilots for the Gray Wolf.

However there have been some headwinds lately for the helicopter. Within the 2022 price range, the Air Drive did not ask for any funds to buy new MH-139s as a result of “technical points found throughout contractor testing” led to a certification delay by the Federal Aviation Administration, in response to Air Drive Journal.

The service, nevertheless, would not appear to be fazed by the difficulty and is recommending funds to buy 5 MH-139s in its proposed fiscal 2023 price range.

The Huey reached legendary standing when earlier variations have been used throughout the Vietnam Struggle to move American service members out and in of jungle battle.

Presently, roughly 60 UH-1N helicopters are connected to models at Fairchild Air Drive Base in Washington, Eglin Air Drive Base in Florida, Kirtland Air Drive Base in New Mexico and Yokota Air Base in Japan.

Photo caption: The MH-139A Grey Wolf parks at Duke Field, Fla. before its unveiling and naming ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)


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