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By Air Force Maj. Harvey S. Gaber
Defense Contract Management Agency Sikorsky Aircraft delivered the first HH-60W Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopter to the 563rd Rescue Group, here Aug. 11.
The HH-60W is the latest upgrade of the Sikorsky H-60 series helicopter designed to replace the Air Force’s current HH-60G inventory. Crewmembers from the 66th Rescue Squadron, or RQS, who will field the advanced rescue helicopter, were on hand for the delivery.
Air Force Capt. Jose Martinez, 66th RQS Mission Pilot, said the upgraded frame provides a number of benefits.
“A new bird, fresh off the lot, with zero hours on it, will improve flight percentages due to reduced maintenance hours,” he said.
The new aircraft also features upgraded avionics.
“The rescue squadron pilots are looking forward to the glass cockpit, which is a giant improvement over steam gauges used in the HH-60G,” Martinez said.
The Air Force pilot said the new helicopter will vastly improve the squadron’s capabilities in training and executing combat rescue missions.
Navy Capt. Dan Short, the DCMA Sikorsky Aircraft commander, joined the delivery crew that flew the aircraft from Connecticut to Nevada for the 563rd RQG and 66th RQS.
"The best part was seeing the young mechanics’ excitement about how this brand-new airframe will improve maintainability compared to their HH-60Gs,” Short said. “It’s very rewarding when you get the opportunity to see the impact of our efforts at the ground level.”
DCMA Sikorsky Aircraft accepts and delivers more than 120 aircraft on behalf of the government enterprise each year, providing advanced and capable airframes to flight lines around the world.
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