The Air Force announced today that Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery was picked as the preferred site to train pilots for the MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter.
The new aircraft, which is replacing the UH-1N Huey, will protect and support America’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska, the Air Force said in a press release.
The new mission is important for Maxwell and for Montgomery because the Air Force is phasing out the aging C-130s at Maxwell’s 908th Airlift Wing.
The Air Force will conduct an environmental impact analysis before making its final decision on the training site next year. The first helicopters are scheduled to arrive in 2023.
Sen. Richard Shelby said the decision will support jobs and other economic opportunities for Montgomery and the entire state.
“It comes as no surprise that the 908th Airlift Wing has again been chosen to receive advanced, state-of-the-art aircraft for our Air Force,” Shelby said in a press release. “I am pleased that Maxwell will continue this tradition with this next generation aircraft.”
The airmen supporting the C-130 mission in Montgomery will transition to the MH-139, Shelby’s office said. The 908th Airlift Wing employs more than 1,198 people and has an annual economic impact of more than $60 million annually, according to Shelby’s office.
Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed applauded the decision.
“Montgomery continues to prove that it is not only serious about its support for our military but that we are serious about our ability to look ahead, to anticipate opportunities, and to successfully compete for the projects, missions, and initiatives that will continue to carry our community and our nation forward well into the future,” Reed said.
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