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Missile Support Helicopters
Helicopters have been supporting missile operations almost from the very beginning. Although their priority has always been search and rescue operations, in the past it was routine at some bases to shuttle troops to and from missile sites using these noisy conveyances. The whirlybirds have also proven to be excellent platforms for providing surveillance and protection when accompanying convoys containing Priority A resources. This album contains images of whimsical patches (ThunderHueys), impolite patches (R.U.M.P.S.), toonish patches (Huey Can Do), and even a couple of patches designed by the creator of the comic strip “Peanuts”-- Charles M. Schulz! (815 CSG Snoopy patches). During the early years, the transports were usually the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw, but from the 1970s through the present, the Bell UH-1N Iroquois has served as the principal transport. The Air Force is now in the process of replacing the venerable Hueys with the Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH), an advanced variant of the combat-proven UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The first operational HH-60W should be fielded in 2021 and full-rate production is anticipated by 2023.
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