F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Air Force Global Strike Command named the MH-139A helicopter the “Grey Wolf” during a naming ceremony at Duke Field, Florida, Dec. 19, 2019.
The Grey Wolf is set to replace the aging UH-1N “Huey” that currently flies over the skies of F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota and Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, as well as their associated missile fields. The Huey entered operational service in 1970.
AFGSC commander Gen. Timothy Ray made the announcement, comparing it to the wild animal of the same name that roams the northern tier of North America, which also encompasses the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile bases in AFGSC.
“The grey wolf strikes fear in the hearts of many, and its range is absolutely inherent to the ICBM fields we have,” Ray said. “As they hunt as a pack, they attack as one, they bring the force of many. That’s exactly how you need to approach the nuclear security mission.”
The MH-139A is the first major acquisition for the command in its 10-year history, and the helicopters will provide security and support for the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields.
The Grey Wolf will roll out to the 37th helicopter squadron, a unit ready to put the bird into active service.
“The Grey Wolf will be a much welcome improvement over the mighty UH-1N,” said Lt. Col. Adam Rudolphi, 37th Helicopter Squadron commander. “The Grey Wolf will fly much faster than the UH-1N, which will cut our response times and increase our un-refueled range and it will have much more power, which will increase the safety of our daily operations and increase our useful load.”
The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’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 a modern machine that will be easier to operate than the UH-1N,” said Rudolphi. “It will free up AFGSC aircrew to focus more on the mission and less on operating the machine.”
The MH-139A Grey Wolf will provide vertical airlift and support the requirements of five Air Force major commands and operating agencies: Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Force District of Washington, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Pacific Air Forces.