The Fleet Readiness Center East’s (FRCE) Global TransPark facility in Kinston, North Carolina, US, has completed the repair of its first UH-1N Huey helicopter.
The depot’s relocated US Air Force (USAF) UH-1 Huey helicopter line took 91 days to finish the work.
FRCE H-1 branch head Allen Broadway said that the logistical enhancements brought by the Kinston location helped the team complete aircraft repair nearly 40 days ahead of the schedule.
The Kinston location provides an allocated space for the H-1 line. It allows the depot to reclaim hangar space at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point in support of the V-22 Osprey and H-53 heavy-lift helicopter programmes.
Broadway said: “Our workforce has always had the skill to be able to do this.
“However, having a dedicated warehouse for material, having the production controllers full-kit each repair with all the parts needed, and not having non-essential items stored in the shadow of the artisans, all of this makes a difference.”
According to H-1 deputy branch head and test pilot Matthew Pitts, the need for scheduled maintenance services of the H-1 Vietnam-era aircraft is high as the USAF uses the helicopter for several missions.
The UH-1N is a light-lift utility helicopter used to support various missions such as airlift of emergency security forces, security and surveillance of off-base nuclear weapons convoys, and distinguished visitor airlift.
FRCE H-1 military branch director gunnery sergeant Christopher Manuel said that the logistical elements involved in shifting the UH-1N line from Cherry Point to Kinston were equal to that of deploying an organisation co-equal to a marine expeditionary unit.
However, the results have been worth the effort, added Manuel.