Montgomery Chosen for Air Force Helicopter Training Program

The MH-139A Grey Wolf gets a test flight from Gen. Timothy Ray and Col. Michael Jiru in December 2019. U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.

Maxwell Air Force Base — specifically the 908th Airlift Wing — in Montgomery has been chosen as the training site for the new MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter, the replacement for the UH-1N Huey.

The MH-139, developed by Boeing, is expected to be in service by 2023.

Being selected for this role is particularly important to the Montgomery facility because the Air Force is transitioning away from the C-130, which has been part of the mission of the 908th.

“The receipt of the MH-139 ensures mission stability for the 908th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit that has called Maxwell Air Force Base home for multiple decades,” city and business officials said in announcing the assignment. “The 908th Airlift Wing consists of over 1,198 individuals and boasts an annual economic impact of more than $60 million annually. The MH-139 mission, coupled with other Air Force missions, positions Montgomery extremely well to support our nations national defense posture. The Air Force has stated that aircraft should begin to arrive in 2023.”

“Maxwell AFB’s selection for this next-generation flying and training mission shows that Montgomery and Maxwell are on the leading edge in supporting the Air Force as it accelerates change and innovates to prepare America’s Airmen and protect our nation,” said Anna Buckalew, president and CEO of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “Montgomery’s defense sector is a critical economic driver for our region, and this is further proof of the momentum that continues to build for our future.”

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The decision will have a “significant” impact on Montgomery, Mayor Steven L. Reed said.

“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,” he said

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