By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published November 20, 2020
The MH-139A Grey Wolf lands at Duke Field, Fla., Dec. 19, 2019, before its unveiling and naming ceremony. The aircraft is set to replace the Air Force's fleet of UH-1N Huey aircraft and has capability improvements related to speed, range, endurance and payload. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)
The Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, lifts off from the flightline for its first combined test flight, Feb. 11, 2020 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Grey Wolf is set to replace the Air Force’s aging UH-1N “Huey” fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)
The MH-139 FTU’s mission is to train pilots in providing security and support for the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields spanning Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska. The MH-139 mission will replace the mission of the Air Force Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing’s aging C-130Hs currently at Maxwell AFB.
“As the lead command for the Air Force's MH-139 helicopter fleet, bringing the MH-139 FTU online is an important step to ensure the nation’s Nuclear Triad remains safe, secure, effective and ready,” said Gen. Tim Ray, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.
The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N Huey in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of AFGSC’s ICBM missions. Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.
“The MH-139 will be an absolute game changer providing increased intercontinental ballistic missile security in support of USSTRATCOM nuclear deterrence operations,” Ray added. “The Grey Wolf will bring significantly improved capabilities, ready to rapidly deliver more defenders to missile fields while also providing increased convoy security.”
The Air Force will now conduct an environmental impact analysis before making its final basing decision in the winter of 2021. The first aircraft are scheduled to arrive in 2023.