MONTGOMERY, Ala. – November 20, 2020 – The Air Force announced today that it has chosen Maxwell Air Force Base’s 908th Airlift Wing as the preferred location to host the MH-139A Grey Wolf Formal Training Unit.
The MH-139 Grey Wolf is the replacement platform for the Air Force’s UH-1N Huey helicopter which supports the Air Force’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missions. The aircraft will be one of the Air Force's newest aerial weapons systems and has a long future as a strategic Air Force asset. The opportunity to acquire this training mission at Maxwell Air Force Base is paramount as the Air Force divests from existing C-130 missions, which would affect the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base as soon as 2023. Alabama’s only Air Force Reserve Unit will have a Helicopter flying training mission and partnerships with Global Strike Command and Air Education and Training Command.
The receipt of the MH-139 ensures mission stability for the 908th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit that has called Maxwell Air Force Base home for multiple decades. The 908th Airlift Wing consists of over 1,198 individuals and boasts an annual economic impact of more than $60 million annually. The MH-139 mission, coupled with other Air Force missions, positions Montgomery extremely well to support our nations national defense posture. The Air Force has stated that aircraft should begin to arrive in 2023.
“Maxwell AFB’s selection for this next-generation flying and training mission shows that Montgomery and Maxwell are on the leading edge in supporting the Air Force as it accelerates change and innovates to prepare America’s Airmen and protect our nation,” said Anna Buckalew, President and CEO of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “Montgomery’s defense sector is a critical economic driver for our region, and this is further proof of the momentum that continues to build for our future,” said Buckalew.
Thanks in particular to the leadership efforts of Senator Richard Shelby, the senior member of Alabama’s congressional delegation who worked directly with the Secretary of the Air Force to solidify the MH-139 mission, and Congressman Martha Roby, whose district includes Maxwell Air Force Base and who has worked tirelessly to advocate for the men and women who will make this mission possible.
“The impact this decision will have on our community is significant,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed. “Montgomery continues to prove that it is not only serious about its support for our military but that we are serious about our ability to look ahead, to anticipate opportunities, and to successfully compete for the projects, missions, and initiatives that will continue to carry our community and our nation forward well into the future.”
“Congratulations to the men and women of the 908th Airlift Wing who have received a vote of confidence from our national defense leadership,” Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean said. “Montgomery is known as the best hometown in the Air Force because of our exceptional and enduring partnerships between Air Force leadership, the Montgomery community, and our congressional delegation’s tireless support.”
ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
With a mission to create jobs and a better quality of life in Montgomery and the River Region, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce is a full spectrum economic development corporation representing 1,700 organizations and business and more than 80,000 employees throughout Montgomery and the River Region. The Montgomery Chamber is an innovative, consolidated organization that addresses destination tourism, economic development, business development, workforce development, and community strategies under one umbrella, linking the public and private sector around a shared vision and providing tremendous value to its investors.
Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce