Helicopter to Greece

Aircraft maintenance assistance has been performed by the Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center’s Aviation Development Directorate-Eustis in support of the Program Management-Multinational Aviation Special Projects and the Greece Office of Defense Cooperation.

Seventy Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aircraft were pulled from storage at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. PM-MASPO and ODC Greece requested assistance with making six of the aircraft fully mission capable, or flyable, to add to their fleet.

The maintenance assistance was broken into three efforts.

Ten aircraft were pulled from the AMARC to make six of them FMC, and the remaining four aircraft were prepared as maintenance trainers. This four-month effort, completed by a joint government/contractor team from ADD-Eustis, based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, required extensive maintenance to establish airworthiness, correct safety of flight issues and any other deficiencies.

After each aircraft was placed in an operational status, they were ground run every 14 days and flown for one hour per month to keep the aircraft fully functional. The aircraft were then transported to a port in Jacksonville, Florida, for shipment to Greece.

Beginning in March, a second contract team was stationed at the Jacksonville Port to offload the remaining 60 aircraft being delivered over a 30-day period from the AMRAC. This required the team to remove the aircraft from the ground transportation, inventory, and reposition each aircraft into a secure area awaiting loading on the ship, said John Zimmerman, ADD aviation support facility chief.

The first 10 aircraft were also transported to Jacksonville where they joined the remaining 60 aircraft. The six FMC aircraft were reassembled, folded and prepared for flight once they arrived in Greece.

“The loading and securing of the aircraft and equipment was safely completed over a four-day period with three full 16-hour days to meet the boat schedule,” Zimmerman said.

In the final effort, a team of government and contracting personnel traveled to Volos, Greece, to receive the shipment of the six regenerated Kiowa Warriors, the remaining non-flyable aircraft, and accompanying support equipment.

“The team, working with the Hellenic Army, assisted in the offloading of all aircraft and equipment off of the ship and moved to the Greece Training Airfield,” Zimmerman said.

“The six (Kiowa Warriors being) brought out of long-term storage by ADD at Eustis sent a strong message when they flew from the port to their airfield,” Col. Jay Gardner, ODC Greece chief, said. “This is a real boon to Greek rotary wing capability.”

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