REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Three refurbished CH-47D chinook helicopters are on their way to the Royal Moroccan Air Force as part of a foreign military sales case facilitated by the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.
The helicopters, which will arrive in August, were requested for humanitarian services but can be used as transport vehicles, if needed. The fleet delivery will provide modernized vehicles to replace existing equipment which has become outdated.
In addition to the aircraft, the FMS case included training, tools, publications and spare parts, for a total case value of $78.9 million.
According to Tom Brown, the country program manager for Morocco at USASAC, after seven months of refurbishment at Columbia Helicopters in Oregon, the vehicles were ready to be shipped and are currently en route to Morocco.
"The refurbishment (at Columbia) included a 100% inspection, including overhaul of major components and a paint job unique to the Moroccan army," Brown said.
A full team effort was behind the success of this FMS case, as numerous organizations in the Army security assistance enterprise worked together to meet the partner country's needs. In addition to USASAC providing case development and execution, Aviation and Missile Command provided case manager support, U. S. Army Communication and Electronics Command provided communications equipment, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Security Assistance Training Field Activity conducted pilot and maintenance training and the U.S. Army Program Executive Office-Aviation's Cargo PM Helicopters provided technical and contracting expertise.
Scott Huther, division chief of AFRICOM regional operations at USASAC, noted the case has been in development since 2010, but due to Morocco budget constraints the delivery could not be expedited.
"Three very capable aircraft are being provided under budget to the Moroccans," Huther said. "Providing these helicopters will enable Morocco to use them for a variety of purposes and have interoperability with the U.S. military and its equipment in future missions."