82nd Airborne Received Chinook MYII
The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade’s “Flippers”, Bravo Company, General Support Aviation Battalion 3rd GSAB, received new CH-47 Multi-Year II (MYII) to replace their CH-47F Chinooks
US Army, July 01, 2016 - FORT BRAGG, NC Staff Sgt Christopher Freeman – Throughout the years, people come and go from units, but the equipment remain. It stands the test of time as the true continuity in a unit, minus the unit’s colors.
The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade’s “Flippers,” Bravo Company, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, welcomed the newest aircraft to its fleet, replacing the battle-hardened CH-47Fs that have been flown by the unit here and deployed.
“We began receiving the CH-47 Chinook Multi-Year II fleet in April of this year,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Monica Narhi, aviation mobility officer, 3rd GSAB, 82nd CAB. “The aircraft provides many advancements over the Multi-Year I model that B CO. currently flies, most of which being avionics-based.
The advancements provide the All-American heavy lifters with the best technology available on helicopters.
“These helicopters have updated software, faster processors, better communications, better navigation, and an improved digital flight control system,” said Narhi. “These aircraft are all new or renewed, which means all components from the engine to the hydraulic systems have zero time on them when installed.
The advancements to the Chinook not only provide better avionics to our pilots, but also make it a safer aircraft to fly.
“One of the new additions to these models are the Cargo Performance Health Environment systems,” said Narhi. “These sensors are throughout the aircraft and provide feedback on various components and can indicate an impending failure that can be captured before parts or systems fail.”
When a unit receives a new piece of equipment, operators must be trained. Even with the extensive training our pilots receive just to fly the aircraft, there is continuous training to familiarize them with the advanced helicopter and its capabilities.
“Since most of the upgrades are avionics-based, our avionic mechanics had 11 days or training, where our pilots had nine days,” said Narhi. “Even once the training is completed, there are evaluation flights that occur, sometimes planned other times random to ensure our aviators are remaining proficient in their flight duties.”
Even with the unit receiving new aircraft, the old aircraft need a new home.
“Over the course of the fielding, all of the Multi-Year I Chinooks in our CAB will be transferred to National Guard and Army Reserve units that currently have the CH-47D model,” said Narhi. “Before we can transfer an aircraft, we must get ahead of scheduled maintenance so the receiving unit has a ‘buffer’ before the next major scheduled maintenance.”
Beyond normal maintenance, there is an estimated 40 man hours that go into preparing an aircraft for transfer,” continued Narhi. “Some aircraft require more extensive repairs before they can be transferred.”
With maintenance hours increasing, these places a strain on the only Chinook company in the 82nd Airborne Division.
“The most challenging part of this whole process is finding the time to prepare the incoming and outgoing aircraft that we have,” said Capt. Ryan Tompkins, commander of B Co. 3rd GSAB, 82nd CAB. “Our workload doesn’t decrease at any time. Being the only heavy lift company in the Division puts a lot of use on our aircraft and personnel. Chinooks are in high demand which leaves little personal time to my unit after required training and mission support.”
When the aircraft arrive at the 82nd CAB, they still require configuration to meet the mission requirements of the Division.
“Even the new aircraft require maintenance time before they can be flown,” said Narhi. “On average, it takes about 64 man hours per aircraft to install survivability and the Cargo On/Off Loading System. That stretches our maintainers pretty thin, limiting the amount of missions we can fly to support the Division.”
This upgrade will continue until fiscal year 2020 when the entire Flipper Chinook inventory is upgraded to the Multi-Year II configuration. In the interim, they will continue to support the All-Americans at home and abroad.
Boeing CH-47F Chinook 14-08156 ( US Army Aviation )