Air Force MH-139A Grey Wolf Makes First Flight in Montana

Malmstrom Air Force Base is one of three intercontinental ballistic missile bases set to receive the service’s newest helicopter.

The U.S. Air Force’s newest helicopter—the MH-139 Grey Wolf—has taken its first flight at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

The helicopters, which are manufactured by partners Boeing and Leonardo, are scheduled to replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging fleet of Bell UH-1N Hueys that perform missions such as off-base nuclear weapons convoy surveillance and routine missile site support. The service has operated the military variant of the Bell 212 since 1970.

“Aircrew from the 550th Helicopter Squadron took the MH-139 for a spin yesterday, marking the occasion as the Grey Wolf’s first flight from Malmstrom AFB,” Air Force Global Strike Command said in a March 21 post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The squadron activated last year and is responsible for Air Force Global Strike Command’s training and conversion to the MH-139 Grey Wolf. The first helicopter arrived at the air base earlier this month.

“The aircraft will play a crucial role in a variety of missions, including intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) security operations, search and rescue efforts, and personnel transport,” the Air Force said.

The Air Force, which initially planned to order 80 MH-139s, has reduced its projected buy to 42, Air and Space Forces Magazine recently reported. Malmstrom AFB is one of three ICBM bases where the helicopter will be stationed. Malmstrom, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, and Minot AFB, North Dakota, will each receive 11 of the aircraft.


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