Irish Air Corps employees who work on the helicopter fleet have travelled to America to help US Air Force crews adjust to a new aircraft.
The expedition in early August saw three Air Corps experts visit the 20th Air Force at FE Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
The team, led by Col. David Corcoran, Chief Air Staff Operations, Sergeant Matthew Carroll, a Rear Crew Instructor and Commandant Colin Duffy, went there to share lessons learned by the Irish Air Corps on the AW 139.
The 20th Air Force is set to replace their ageing Huey helicopter fleet with the new and hugely advanced MH 139 Grey Wolf – a variant of the Irish AW 139.
The Irish Air Corps has been using the AgustaWestland chopper since 2006 as a general purpose “Swiss Army Knife” platform for everything from air ambulance missions, to wildfire fighting to Army Ranger Wing Special Operations.
This ‘expertise and experience’, is what caught the US aviators’ eye, according to Col. David Corcoran.
The Irish pilots were able to discuss the methods they use to fly at night with the US pilots and show them techniques they have developed to use night vision goggles.
It is not the first international relationship by the Defence Forces – recently the Air Corps were able to assist the Armed Forces of Malta as they took delivery of the AW139 aircraft.