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Depot inducts first Air Force Huey

NAVAIR News Release


By Gary Rice

It is the first of its kind to be inducted at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Depot Cherry Point - a U.S. Air Force UH-1N Huey. There are a total of 62 of them in the Air Force, and there is a good chance they may all be coming to the depot.

"The Air Force wants only the best people available to work on their aircraft," Greg Ehrler, Industrial Business Operations Department Planner and Estimator, said. "They also stress the importance of maintenance turnaround time. With the war on terror going on, they can't afford to wait too long to get their airplanes back. They're aware of our outstanding reputation, and since they haven't been very happy with the turnaround results they've experienced elsewhere, they're considering us for their depot level maintenance."

NAVAIR Depot Cherry Point provides maintenance, engineering, and logistics support on a variety of aircraft, engines, and components for all branches of the U.S. armed forces. Employing almost 4,000 people, the depot is the only source of repair within the continental United States for many jet and rotary wing engines. It is the Navy's center of excellence for rotary wing aircraft, providing engineering and logistics support for all Navy helicopters.

The Huey, one of two prototypes that have been approved for induction at the depot, arrived Oct. 24. Air Force pilots Capt Mathew Contreras and 1stLt Felisa Palfery flew the 1969-model aircraft to the depot from Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, where it is used in support of a variety of security missions at the space command there. The following day, they turned over the helo's ignition key to the depot's H-1 Program Manager, Capt Robert Tifft.

"For a prototype effort, the scheduled turnaround time is 180 days," Ehrler said. "The second prototype, which will be flown in from Andrews Air Force Base, is scheduled to be completed in about 160 days."

Ehrler explained that pending further approval, the depot will induct all of the Air Force's UH-1N Hueys in the future, at a rate of about two to six per year, with a turnaround time of 120 days.

"We've accomplished a lot with the H-1 program here at the depot in the last year or so," Ehrler said. "This will bring a lot of work into the depot, and the fact that the Air Force is looking at us to do the work is a great reflection on the skills of our artisans and our reputation in the fleet."

NAVAIR provides advanced warfare technology through the efforts of a seamless, integrated, worldwide network of aviation technology experts. From professional training to carrier launch, sensor data to precision targeting, aircraft and weapons development to successful deployment, and real-time communication to aircraft recovery, NAVAIR provides dominant combat effects and matchless capabilities to the American warfighter.

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