Montgomery’s 908th reaches milestones in transition to helicopter training unit
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery’s 908th Airlift Wing is in the middle of a major shift, moving from a fixed-wing tactical airlift mission to rotary-wing training unit.
The airmen, stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base, are preparing to fly a completely different kind of aircraft, the Air Force’s new MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters.
Maxwell was selected as the preferred location to host the Grey Wolf Formal Training Unit in 2020 where pilots will be trained in providing security and support for the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields. The chopper is replacing the Air Force’s fleet of UH-1N Huey aircraft.
The new mission picks up at Maxwell where the Air Force Reserve’s C-130H cargo aircraft left off. The last of those flew out of Montgomery in April 2022.
Maxwell is awaiting the arrival of the first two helicopters this spring, with a total of 10 arriving by 2028, but a lot has to happen before the transition is complete.
The 908th has been training to fly the new choppers and, last month, it passed some key milestones in that mission. Four pilots have now received their initial qualifications to fly the MH-139As, the 908th’s first. Two trained on simulators in Philadelphia while the others were in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Two special mission aviators have completed academic training for non-pilot positions on the Grey Wolf and will complete aircrew qualifications when the helicopters arrive in Montgomery.
By next fall, every pilot in the air wing is expected to have been trained on the new chopper and received the same qualifications.
In addition to those flying the new aircraft, the transition is underway for those who will need to maintain the multi-million dollar pieces of equipment.
908th aircraft maintenance personnel are currently in Florida verifying and validating Air Force technical orders and instructions connected to the helicopter.
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