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    Combat tested: UH-1Y Huey proves its effectiveness

    Plane Captain Helps UH-1Y Huey Get Off Ground

    Photo By Master Sgt. Steven Williams | A UH-1Y Huey sits on the flight line at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. Crews with Marine...... read more read more

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, "Scarface," arrived in Afghanistan seven months ago with one of the Marine Corps' newest aviation platforms, the UH-1Y Huey.

    Throughout the deployment, Scarface proved the worth of the new light attack helicopter and put its abilities to use, providing close air support for Marines on the ground.

    The Huey has provided close air support for Marine Corps operations for more than 50 years. Now with four blades and more power, the Huey can fly further faster and stay in the air longer to provide support that can mean the difference between life and death for International Security Assistance Force members.

    "The [UH-1Y] is more maneuverable than the [UH-1N], because of the four blades and the rotor head system that allows us to be more acrobatic than we were in the [UH-1N], which allows us to get out of certain situations if the threat so dictates," said Capt. Mark D. Mirra, the squadron's flight officer.

    One of the most important improvements of the new Huey is the strength.

    "The biggest difference between the [UH-1Y] and the [UH-1N] is the power margin," said Sgt. Zachary Lucas, a crew chief with Scarface. "It gives us the ability to carry ground guys with all their gear."

    While the UH-1N provided the close air support demanded by the troops on the ground, it could not effectively carry troops, with full combat loads, at the same time.

    "In the [UH-1N], to carry troops we would have to strip the helicopter down. Now with the [UH-1Y], we can load it up with ammo, fuel and throw people in there without a problem," said Staff Sgt. Jacob Murphy, a Scarface crew chief.

    The Marines with Scarface evolved quickly to their new capabilities of the UH-1Y ultimately leading to better support the mission in Afghanistan throughout the helicopter's first combat deployment.

    Capt. Bret W. Morriss, a pilot with Scarface, developed the aerial reaction force, which combines the new Huey's ability to effectively carry troops with the concept of the quick reaction force. A QRF is a rapid response force used commonly as a security force. As an ARF, the squadron can work in conjunction with a ground assault force to peruse and capture insurgents that try to run away by putting Marines on the ground and acting as their close air support.

    The squadron has passed on lessons learned during its deployment, including the ARF concept, to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, the "Gunfighters."

    As Scarface cased its colors and the Gunfighters took their place as 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward)'s light attack aviation unit. They will continue to use the lessons learned and provide aerial support for I Marine Expeditionary Force's ground combat operations.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.11.2010
    Date Posted: 05.11.2010 06:22
    Story ID: 49467
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 721
    Downloads: 372

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