The Long Blue Line: Lt. Cmdr. Frank Erickson – Coast Guard pioneer of helicopter flight

By Beth L. Crumley U.S. Coast Guard Assistant Historian Just over 75 years ago, Lt. Cmdr. Frank A. Erickson flew the first helicopter rescue mission in history, ushering in a new era in search and rescue techniques. Born in Portland, Oregon, Erickson served in the Navy before enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard. He received an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy and was commissioned in 1931. While at the Academy, Erickson developed a passionate interest in the techniques of search and rescue and, on May 14, 1935, became Coast…

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US Navy Contract Announcements January 16, 2019

Gilbane Federal, Concord, California, is awarded a $10,966,383 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N39430-15-D-1634) to decrease the value of the contract for the cleaning, inspection and repair of Fuel Storage Tanks 305, 307, and 308 at Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Tsurumi, Japan. Work on Tanks 305, 307, and 308 is being removed from the contract due to contractor performance problems. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $6,426,985. Work will be performed in Tsurumi, Japan, and is expected to be completed by March…

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US Navy Contract Announcements December 11, 2018

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a Lockheed Martin Co., Stratford, Connecticut, is awarded $38,170,404 for cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order N0001919F2503, against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-19-G-0029). This delivery order provides for the development and delivery of a provisioning parts database of technical information to include 2D drawings that support all organizational, intermediate and depot levels in support of initial operational capability for the CH-53K program. Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, and is expected to be completed in November 2023. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in…

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US Navy Contract Announcements November 28, 2018

Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded $20,512,216 for modification P00056 to increase the ceiling of a previously awarded fixed-price incentive contract (N00019-09-D-0008) for additional Joint Performance Based Logistics support for the Marine Corps MV-22 and the Air Force and Special Forces Operations Command CV-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (46.6 percent); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (41.4 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Florida 6.1 percent); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (4.3 percent); and St. Louis, Missouri (1.6 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2019. No funding will…

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US Navy Contract Announcements October 24, 2018

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, is awarded a $717,410,825 firm-fixed-priced, performance-based logistics requirements contract for logistics and repair support for 98 components in support of CH-53 and MH-53 aircraft weapon replaceable assembly components and their related shop replaceable assembly components. This contract includes a 50-month base period with no options. Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut (75 percent); and Cherry Point, North Carolina (25 percent). Work is expected to be completed by December 2022. Working capital (Navy) funds in the amount of $142,662,162 will be issued for delivery order…

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First Saudi MH60-R Arrives at NAS Mayport

October 3, 2018 – The first of several MH60-R Seahawk helicopters purchased by the Royal Saudi Arabian Navy arrived at Naval Station Mayport Oct. 2, 2018. The helicopters are part of a training program for Saudi pilots and crew that is expected to last for the next three years. “This is an exciting day!” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Miller, the training officer for the “Airwolves” of Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40. “This is the first of a series of five aircraft that will be joining us here at HSM 40.”…

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Sikorsky Begins CH-53 King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopter Deliveries

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, delivered the first CH-53 King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) today. The aircraft is the first of an expected 200 helicopters for the Marine Corps’ fleet. The CH-53K is the new build replacement for the U.S. Marine Corps’ aging CH-53E Super Stallion fleet. The CH-53E first flew in 1974 and entered service with the USMC in 1981. “Our first delivery of a CH-53K to the Marine Corps marks the start of a new generation of true heavy lift helicopter deliveries by Sikorsky…

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Navy considering proposal for 17 Presidential Helicopters

Four years into a $1.2 billion contract for the new VH-92 presidential helicopter, the Navy has flown two initial test aircraft and is considering a proposal to acquire a full fleet of the new presidential helicopters. That’s according to Col. Eric J. Ropella, who became the new Marine Corps program manager for the VH-92 on March 22. Ropella provided an update on the program during the first day of the 2018 Sea Air Space Exposition April 9. The most notable recent news, according to Ropella, was the flying of the…

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Sikorsky CH-53K Completes Critical Flight Envelope Expansion with 36,000-pound External Lift

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion completed an external lift of a 36,000-pound payload at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center, achieving a maximum weight on the single center point cargo hook. This milestone marks completion of critical flight envelope expansion activities for the CH-53K as Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company prepares to deliver the first aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps this year. The CH-53K lifted the external load of 36,000 lbs. into a hover followed by flight demonstrating satisfactory handling qualities and structural margins. The gross weight of the aircraft…

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CH-53K Demonstrates Dual Hook Jettison for First Time

For the first time, a CH-53K King Stallion performed a dual point external load and successfully demonstrated the auto-jettison capability of the aircraft, using a 5,000 lb. load. The test took place Dec. 5 at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. Currently, there are four Engineering Development and Manufacturing Model aircraft in test and one Ground Test Vehicle; combined the aircraft have logged more than 650 flight hours. (Photo courtesy Sikorsky)

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NAVAIR hosts first orientation flight in a CH-53K King Stallion

Naval Air Systems Command and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, hosted a ‘first of its kind’ orientation flight in the CH-53K King Stallion for Brig. Gen. Nir Nin-Nun, Israeli Air Force, Commander, Air Support and Helicopter Division, during a test flight Nov. 7. The 90-minute orientation flight included various operational maneuvers, landings and takeoffs, providing Nin-Nun a firsthand look at the unique and capabilities of the CH-53K available through full authority fly-by-wire flight controls. “This is the first time we have flown an international ally in the CH-53K,” said U.S. Marine Corps…

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Secretary of the Navy Visits Lockheed Martin Owego Facility

Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Richard V. Spencer, visited with more than 400 employees while touring the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky MH-60R “Romeo” operations on Sept. 29. “It’s a privilege for me to be standing in front of you all because you deliver an amazing ingredient to America’s freedom,” Secretary Spencer said in his address to employees. “You all are making the products that let us deliver the fight.” Spencer visited to view first-hand the advanced technology and innovation that experts consider the most capable and mature Anti-Submarine (ASW)/Anti-Surface Warfare…

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NARVAIR Awards Contract to Lockheed Martin to Begin CH-53K Helicopter Production

Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 1 contract to build two production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters. This contract follows the April 4, 2017, Milestone C decision by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) approving LRIP production. “Gaining the U.S. Marine Corps approval to enter into production and the award of the first contract are milestones made possible by the tremendous achievements of the joint Sikorsky, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and U.S. Marine Corps team,” said Dr.…

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U.S. Marine Corps receives approval for CH-53K King Stallion production

April 5, 2017 – The Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L)) approved the Navy’s request for the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program to enter into the Production and Deployment April 4. “We have just successfully launched the production of the most powerful helicopter our nation has ever designed. This incredible positive step function in capability is going to revolutionize the way our nation conducts business in the battlespace by ensuring a substantial increase in logistical throughput into that…

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CH-53K King Stallion Program Achieves Milestone C

April 4, 2017 – Lockheed Martin today announced the CH-53K King Stallion program successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review and achieved a Milestone C decision that enables low rate initial production funding. “This affirmative Milestone C decision validates the maturity and the robust capability of the King Stallion in meeting the United States Marine Corps mission requirements,” said Dr. Michael Torok, Sikorsky vice president, CH-53K Programs. “This establishes the CH-53K as a production program and marks another critical step toward our goal of delivering this tremendous capability to the USMC.” Numerous, successfully completed pre-requisites…

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