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Cessna UC-35 is addition to aviation arsenal

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 200552415302
Story by Lance Cpl. Cullen J. Tiernan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (May 18, 2005) -- The new Cessna Citation Encore aircraft, UC-35D, landed on Cherry Point’s flight line, May 18.

The Cessna landing brings operational support airlift capability to Marine Transport Squadron 1.

“The Cessna gives OSA to VMR-1 with incredible speed, comfort, reliability and overall first class conditions,” said Lt. Col. Peter D. Buck, VMR-1 commanding officer. “This is the beginning of a new era. We will have two here, and it’s just a step up. Its ranges and speeds are much more impressive than what VMR-1 had before.”

The UC-35 is a state-of-the-art twin turbofan commercial aircraft. It has a range of up to 1,800 nautical miles, a maximum speed of 525 knots-indicated air speed, and a payload of up to 2,750 pounds.

“I flew the aircraft in Okinawa in support of the Global War on Terrorism,” said Maj. Earl L. Halquist, the operations officer at VMR-1 and one of the acceptance pilots of the UC-35. “In cooperative engagements talks with the governments of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, the UC-35 flew senior warfighting commanders and their staffs to meet and concord with other governments.”

There is a UC-35 in the Middle East right now executing this vital mission.

“The UC-35 also provides intratheatre logistics support,” added Halquist. “It continuously hauls important people, parts and things back and forth in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It will provide that type of support to the Marines of Cherry Point.”

The pilots seemed excited about the arrival of their new aircraft. They waited by their hangar until after 6 p.m. for it to arrive and rushed at the chance to see it.

“This plane is smoother, quieter and almost twice as fast the C-12 we had before,” said Capt. David G. Irving, a pilot with VMR-1. “We can now go above the weather, something we couldn’t do before. We will still provide the same OSA support, but in a more efficient manner.”

The UC-35 Cessna is an addition to Cherry Point’s aviation arsenal. It will continue the top-notch OSA support to the Department of Defense, and anyone else in need of its support.


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