Four new Afghan National Army Air Corps Mi-17 helicopters on the ramp in Kabul, Afghanistan delivered by NAVAIRs Tactical Airlift, Adversary and Support Programs, PMA-207, in just 65 days from order to delivery. The Mi-17s were delivered in white but have been repainted into the standard ANAAC camouflage colors. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tom Dow, USAF)
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (Nov. 30, 2009) NAVAIR delivered four new Mi-17 helicopters to the Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC) in Kabul, Afghanistan just sixty-five days after the order was placed.
Four Mi-17 helicopters, the first new helicopters Afghanistan has ever received, were ordered on July 30. The first two were delivered Sept. 3; the second pair of Mi-17s was delivered Sept. 16.
The people on our Afghanistan team have consistently stepped up to the plate and delivered vitally needed equipment to the Afghan armed forces as quickly as possible, said Capt. James Walleye Wallace, Program Manager, Tactical Airlift, Adversary and Support Programs, PMA-207. This delivery is another example of the superb leadership and ingenuity that this team displays on a daily basis.
The Navy International Programs Office was a key partner in acquiring the Mi-17s for ANAAC.
"The Mi-17 acquisition was an extremely challenging non-traditional acquisition from contract award to helicopter delivery. In this, the NAVAIR Afghan team performed superbly, delivering these non-Western aircraft within a record 35 days from the contract being awarded into Afghanistan, said Eugene Chan, Country Program Director - Afghanistan / Iraq, Navy International Programs Office.
The four Mi-17s will provide combat airlift, logistical and medical evacuation support to Afghan forces and government officials.
I have to thank our Afghanistan aircraft team, the Cherry Point Fleet Support Team (FST), NAVAIR Contracting, Legal, Finance, Logistics, the NAVAIR International Programs Office, and the Navy IPO for their dedicated work. Lt. Cmdr. Sid Lodhi, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) and the Cherry Point FST exposed themselves to the real world challenges faced by our troops on a daily basis while they were performing the final acceptance inspections on these Mi-17s, said Rich Senkel, Deputy Program Manager, Foreign Military Sales, PMA-207. The four Mi-17s were bought new from the manufacturers in Russia through a contract with Defense Technology, Inc. The Mi-17 contract was competitively sourced and DTI won the competition.
The four Mi-17s have less than ten hours of flight time each, said Senkel, just enough to accomplish the Functional Check Flights after delivery to Afghanistan. One of the pilots who flew the FCFs said that these were the smoothest flying helicopters hed ever flown.
Although a non-standard platform and a stranger to the Department of Defense acquisition and sustainment community, the Mi-17 is a familiar, robust, and easy to maintain helicopter that is without argument, the most visible and active symbol of emerging Afghan airpower, said Wallace. PMA-207 accepted the challenge to deliver the non-Western aircraft and within 17 days we developed the plan, reviewed the proposals and awarded the contract.
The PMA-207 Afghanistan team is leaning forward to support the mission of the Combined Airpower Transition Force (CAPTF) to build a strong, capable, and sustainable ANAAC that meets the critical security requirements of Afghanistan added Wallace.
NAVAIR's PMA-207 manages the cradle to grave procurement, development, support, fielding and disposal of the Navy's Tactical Airlift, Adversary & Support Program Systems.
Source: NAVAIR 1.0 Public Affairs