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Maxwell AFB chosen for new MH-139 Grey Wolf training site.


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Maxwell AFB is being considered as the training site for the new MH-139 Grey Wolf set to arrive in 2023. Personnel assigned to the 908th Airlift Wing will be assigned to the new unit and will phase out the C-130s. This is somewhat exciting and bittersweet news. I have been around the C-130's all my life and I live right underneath the landing pattern. 

https://trib.al/tNsiYyb

Edited by caudleryan
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  • caudleryan changed the title to Maxwell AFB chosen for new MH-139 Grey Wolf training site.

Aren't helicopters supposed to be named after American Indian tribes or individuals? Even if the name was chosen in a competition (which apparently this one was), that still should've been a requirement.

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I wish Maxwell could keep the C-130s and do the MH-139 training, there is plenty of ramp space and its not like Maxwell is a very active base, aircraft wise. Every time I went there on days that there wasn't an  airshow, all the C-130s where parked in front of the BX

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2 hours ago, BAM'n'IVM said:

Aren't helicopters supposed to be named after American Indian tribes or individuals? Even if the name was chosen in a competition (which apparently this one was), that still should've been a requirement.

 

Army naming convention. 

 

59 minutes ago, Vince Maddux said:

I wish Maxwell could keep the C-130s and do the MH-139 training, there is plenty of ramp space and its not like Maxwell is a very active base, aircraft wise. Every time I went there on days that there wasn't an  airshow, all the C-130s where parked in front of the BX

 

My guess is a downsized 130 fleet in the future.  MH-139 won't have a huge training requirement, so putting the training squadron in the AF Reserve makes a little sense, though Maxwell is an interesting location.

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1 hour ago, Da SWO said:

 

 

Army naming convention. 

 

 

My guess is a downsized 130 fleet in the future.  MH-139 won't have a huge training requirement, so putting the training squadron in the AF Reserve makes a little sense, though Maxwell is an interesting location.

Unless things have changed since I was at US Army flight school back in the early 80's, the Army provided initial rotary wing training for Air Force pilots but a lot has changed since I walked the flight lines at Ft. Rucker.   Placing the MH-139 at Maxwell would be close to the initial entry training source when newly graduated Air Force helicopter pilots are assigned to the MH-139 training.

 

Just my thoughts but others may know more,

Steve Sliger

Greenwell Springs, LA

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9 hours ago, Vince Maddux said:

Not to long ago the Air Force had a training squadron at Fort Rucker. They flew TH-1s.

 

They still do: the 23rd FTS, flying 24 TH-1H (upgraded UH-1H) helicopters from Cairns AAF near Ft Rucker.

 

That squadron will likely remain in place to train USAF CV-22 and HH-60 pilots although they could downsize a bit because training UH-1N pilots is no longer needed following the introduction of a seperate MH-139 training unit....

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On 11/23/2020 at 7:31 PM, habu2 said:

 

Because it's an Agusta Westland design ???

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westland_Helicopters

The US Air Force's Global Strike Command chose the name for aircraft in US service, so the question remains.

https://www.afgsc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2044832/air-force-names-newest-helicopter-grey-wolf/

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I think it's a pretty neat name, myself. I'm kinda wondering, though. What will Maxwell AFB be designated as? Will it still be a reserve base, or will it be redesignated to an active base? I will admit, I don't know much about how they do this when a bases' mission changes. I am assuming the 908th AW will stand down and be deactivated and the C-130's either transferred to other units or retired since they are older H models. I was hoping at one point that they might get newer J models. But, I don't know if the Air Force Reserves operate any J models. Might just be active and ANG units only. Again, I don't know much about how they are organized.

Edited by caudleryan
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Well, Maxwell isn’t an Air Reserve Base, it’s an Active Duty AFB, with a slew of tenant units.  The largest of those is Air University, but the majority of the tenants are all Active Duty.  The 908th, however, is a Reserve Wing, is a tenant unit on the base, and will become the MH-139 Formal Training Unit after divesting of its C-130s.  908th will transition from being a Herc unit to the new mission, but the base designation and mission will not change....the Reserve Wing will remain a tenant unit on the Active Duty owned airbase.

 

And the Reserves do operate J-models, albeit not slicks yet.  The Hurricane Hunters at Kessler are operated by the Reserves, and they fly WC-130Js.  Likewise, the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick is transitioning to HC-130J models.  Of note, neither of those bases are ARBs either; the Reserve Wings are tenant units on active duty installations in both cases.

 

The existing C-130s at the 908th are legacy H-models, hence their being ID’d to phase out as the AF consolidates and reduces the -130 fleet, and divests of the old H-models across all components, active duty, Guard, and Reserve.

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Thank you for taking the time to clear up some of the confusion I had. I always had the thought that some bases were active and some bases were Reserve, Guard, ect. I always learn something new everyday. Still, it'll be sad when the herks leave. Got to take a ride in one a few years back in high school as part of a program. The name of it escapes me, though. It will be interesting to know why they picked Maxwell for the MH-139 FTU. Convenience or location, perhaps? Maybe it has something to do with being close to Ft. Rucker? Any thoughts on this?

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6 hours ago, Waco said:

Well, Maxwell isn’t an Air Reserve Base, it’s an Active Duty AFB, with a slew of tenant units.  The largest of those is Air University, but the majority of the tenants are all Active Duty.  The 908th, however, is a Reserve Wing, is a tenant unit on the base, and will become the MH-139 Formal Training Unit after divesting of its C-130s.  908th will transition from being a Herc unit to the new mission, but the base designation and mission will not change....the Reserve Wing will remain a tenant unit on the Active Duty owned airbase.

 

And the Reserves do operate J-models, albeit not slicks yet.  The Hurricane Hunters at Kessler are operated by the Reserves, and they fly WC-130Js.  Likewise, the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick is transitioning to HC-130J models.  Of note, neither of those bases are ARBs either; the Reserve Wings are tenant units on active duty installations in both cases.

 

The existing C-130s at the 908th are legacy H-models, hence their being ID’d to phase out as the AF consolidates and reduces the -130 fleet, and divests of the old H-models across all components, active duty, Guard, and Reserve.

Hurricane Hunters sister squadron (Flying Jennies) has slick J's.

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I always had the thought that some bases were active and some bases were Reserve, Guard, ect.

 

There are Reserve and Guard exclusive bases, such as Homestead which is an Air Reserve Base, but many times, AFBs share facilities between Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty units.  Maxwell is an AFB, under an Active Duty Airbase Wing.  The 908th is a tenant unit.

 

Quote

It will be interesting to know why they picked Maxwell for the MH-139 FTU.

 

A primary driver was the fact that, with the accelerated divestiture of the legacy C-130s, the 908th needed a new mission quickly, or else its Airmen would be out of a job when the Hercs left.  The timing worked well to replace the C-130s with MH-139s.  Proximity to suitable training ranges then likely came into play.  But the major driver is, the Wing needs a new mission, or else it will be closed, and those Reservists would be unemployed.

 

Quote

Hurricane Hunters sister squadron (Flying Jennies) has slick J's.

 

I stand corrected; forgot about the 815th.  Most of the Reserve Hercs are legacy H-models, with the exceptions noted.  Hence the reason to push for new missions/aircrafts for those wings, as big AF looks to eliminate the legacy -130s.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm surprised it's not here at Kirtland where the current UH-1N school house is...along with the HH-60 and CV-22 training. The USAF squadron at Rucker

is part of the 58th SOW here at Kirtland. Could be they moved it to free up ramp space here since AFSOC recently announced that the AC-130J school

house is moving here from Hurlburt Field , FL. So 8 AC-130J gunships will be here in addition to the 10 HC/MC-130J aircraft. I work over in the 415th SOS.

Current ops/mission scheduler as a contractor but am also a retired AFSOC MC-130 loadmaster.

 

Cheers...Ron

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On 11/22/2020 at 2:01 PM, caudleryan said:

Maxwell AFB is being considered as the training site for the new MH-139 Grey Wolf set to arrive in 2023. Personnel assigned to the 908th Airlift Wing will be assigned to the new unit and will phase out the C-130s. This is somewhat exciting and bittersweet news. I have been around the C-130's all my life and I live right underneath the landing pattern. 

https://trib.al/tNsiYyb

 
I worked Herc’s for a good part of my Airforce career and it’s still my first love. 
 

After I retired I went to work for an Air Ambulance group and we had new AW-139s, they were the Ferrari’s of our fleet and an awesome airframe. We also have BK-117s which we are now replacing with new Airbus H-145 helo’s.

 

You’ll enjoy the 139.

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17 hours ago, nspreitler said:

Well that's an unfortunate reward for Montgomery.  There have been rumors of Maxwell being shutdown due to how bad the local schools are, so putting new capability there doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  

It's a Reserve unit, with less manpower then they currently have.

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