The U.S. Air Force declared its newest MH-139A utility helicopter would be formally named on December 19 during the naming and releasing ceremony at Duke Field.
The MH-139A is the first service-distinctive helicopter acquired by the Air Force and the first plane ever acquired by AFGSC. It will substitute the Vietnam-era UH-1N “Hueys” which have functionality laps in the areas of pace, range, endurance, payload, and survivability in support of the command’s intercontinental ballistic missile missions.
The helicopters will offer security and help for the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields, which span Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska, all with increased vary, velocity, and payload. Different multiple missions include civil search and rescue capacities, airlift support; National Capital Area missions, survival school, and test support.
The assumption of command comes one day before the MH-139A naming and revealing ceremony at Duke Field.
The detachment will work along with Air Force Materiel Command’s 413th Flight Test Squadron, which is the Air Force’s only devoted rotary review. Detachment 7 brings crucial aircrew manning to the test effort and includes pilots and particular mission aviators.
The unit resides in temporary management and hangar facilities on Duke Field, which have been developed in only three months. The detachment will ultimately come to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, to carry out further testing and evaluation of the plane.
Detachment 7 will handle four helicopters, with the first slated to be delivered December 19 at the naming and releasing ceremony. The second plane is due to arrive mid-January 2020, while the third and fourth planes are slated to come in February.
The helicopters had been acquired from Boeing through a full and open competition at $2.38 billion for as much as 84 planes — $1.7 billion under budget. It’s the command’s first commercial “off-the-shelf” purchase, adding military-unique changes.
The MH-139 helicopters will provide vertical airlift and assist the requirements of five Air Force major instructions and operating agencies: Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Training and Coaching Command, Air Power Materiel Command, Air Force District of Washington, and Pacific Air Forces.