USARPAC hosts CH-47F Chinook equipping ceremony, blessing

| September 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
Representatives and leaders from USARPAC; 25th CAB, 25th ID; HIARNG; the community and the Boeing Company celebrate the acquisition of CH-47F Chinook helicopters during a ceremony, Sept. 8, at the historic Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island. (Russell K. Dodson | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Representatives and leaders from USARPAC; 25th CAB, 25th ID; HIARNG; the community and the Boeing Company celebrate the acquisition of CH-47F Chinook helicopters during a ceremony, Sept. 8, at the historic Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island. (Russell K. Dodson | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Sgt. Karl V. Williams
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

25th CAB, HIANG introduce CH-47F Chinooks helicopters to their fleets

FORD ISLAND — A few weeks short of the 50th anniversary of CH-47 Chinook’s maiden flight, Soldiers held an equipping ceremony to welcome the equipment to Hawaii, Sept. 8.

More than 400 guests and Soldiers in the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, and the Hawaii Army National Guard filled the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s historic Hangar 79, here, for the event, while being surrounded by the museum’s collection of vintage aircraft.

“I can’t think of a better Representatives and leaders from USARPAC; 25th CAB, 25th ID; HIARNG; the community and the Boeing Company celebrate the acquisition of CH-47F Chinook helicopters during a ceremony, Sept. 8, at the historic Pacific Representatives and leaders from USARPAC; 25th CAB, 25th ID; HIARNG; the community and the Boeing Company celebrate the acquisition of CH-47F Chinook helicopters during a ceremony, Sept. 8, at the historic Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island.  Museum Pearl Harbor on Ford Island.  to unveil the newest airframe in our 25th CAB and HIANG inventory, the CH-47F,” said Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific. “Our Army and our industry partners certainly got it right with this aircraft.

“The F model being delivered today includes a newly machined airframe, vibration reduction, corrosion protection, digital-source collectors, a new engine, an extended-range fuel system, modern-missile warning and infrared suppression systems, and (it) is compatible with joint digital connectivity requirements — nonexistent even a decade ago,” Wiercinski said.

In addition to transporting Soldiers and supplies, the CH-47F provides lifesaving combat support and sustainment functions for medical evacuations, aircraft recovery, disaster relief, and search and rescue, said Wiercinski.

Maj. Gen. William Crosby, the program executive officer for aviation, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, was proud to be taking part in the ceremony and in transitioning the new CH-47F Chinook helicopters to the 25th CAB and the HIARNG.

“What a great team, the partnership that I (witnessed) at the airfield and in meetings with the (HIANG and 25th CAB),” Crosby said. “Many people like to enunciate that there are bars or gaps between the two. Clearly, what I sense here is what every organization strives for — that true partnership, the sharing of experiences, knowledge and teamwork.”

Throughout both the 25th ID and HANG history, CH-47 Chinook helicopters have played a vital role, and the latest chapter will be written with this newest model. Posters symbolizing the fielding of the aircraft were unveiled and presented to the commanders of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 25th General Support Avn. Bn., 25th CAB, and to Co. B, 1st Bn., 171st Avn. Regiment, HIARNG.

Kahu Kordell Kekoa, a bishop at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel, performed a traditional Hawaiian blessing upon one of the CH-47F Chinook helicopters, representing the entire fleet of helicopters being fielded.

Pat Donnelly, director of domestic Chinook, Boeing Corporation, thanked the Soldiers and their families for their sacrifices to make America safe.

“As far as I am concerned, it’s not only the best cargo helicopter out there, but it’s the best helicopter in the free world,” Donnelly said. “I am confident that we gave you a great product. I would like to come back and have (the aviators) tell me what worked and what didn’t work, so we can continue to make this aircraft better.”

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