Monday, December 30, 2019

Duke gets MH-139A, new unit

DUKE FIELD, Fla. - Duke Field at Eglin Air Force Base in Northwest Florida took delivery Dec. 19 of the new MH-139A helicopter. Nicknamed the "Grey Wolf," the MH-139A is the Air Force’s first service-specific helicopter, and the first helicopter acquisition by the Air Force’s Global Strike Command. The MH-139A is a military version of Leonardo’s AW-139 commercial helicopter outfitted for military use by Boeing. The Air Force is paying $2.38 billion for up to 84 helicopters. The Global Strike Command will use the MH-139A for security and support for missile installations across North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Nebraska. The Grey Wolf will bring improvements in speed, range, endurance and payload over the Vietnam-era UH-1N "Huey," which it's replacing. In addition to providing security for nuclear missiles, the Grey Wolf also will have a role in providing security in the nation’s capital. It's also to be used in civil search and rescue, survival school and test support. A new unit, Detachment 7, has been established to evaluate and test the helicopter and will work with Air Force Materiel Command’s Duke Field-based 413th Flight Test Squadron, the Air Force’s only dedicated helicopter test unit. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, 12/19/19, Crestview Bulletin, 12/15/19)