Boeing Chinook News from Michigan



          Michigan to get Chinooks



             17 July 2003: Selfridge Air National Guard Base will add six Chinook helicopters and 102 military personnel to its force later this year, boosting the base's status at a time when it's being proposed as a home for the Department of Homeland Security's Midwestern headquarters.

             Six of the massive, twin-rotor CH-47 Chinooks will be reassigned to the Harrison Township facility, with the first helicopter expected to arrive this fall. The six aircraft will be overseen by civilian and military Army National Guard forces.

             "Obviously, this is a good thing for Selfridge and a good thing for the Michigan National Guard," said Capt. Dawn Dancer, a spokeswoman for the guard. "This is helping to keep us relevant."

             The Chinook is a battle-tested helicopter that most recently played a role in the war in Afghanistan, where it proved its ability to withstand heat, sand and other adverse conditions.

             The helicopter's primary mission is to transport cargo, troops and weapons on the battlefield. It's also used for rescue missions, medical duties, parachuting, aircraft recovery and special operations missions.

             The aircraft can carry vehicles, artillery pieces and up to 33 troops. With payload and cargo it can weigh up to 30 tons. The twin-engine aircraft is 51 feet long, with two rotors 60 feet in diameter.

             The helicopters will come to Selfridge as part of a "unit leveling" operation by the Pentagon, in which helicopters from various Army National Guard units are dispersed across the country.

             U.S. Rep. Candice Miller said the transfer of the Chinooks to Selfridge shows "a renewed commitment to the base" by the military brass. A Harrison Township Republican, Miller said the assignment of the Chinooks will help in her push for a Homeland Security headquarters at Selfridge.

             The congresswoman also believes the deployment of the Chinooks, coming on the heels of a $9.6 million appropriation for a medical training facility, will help prevent Selfridge from showing up on a future base-closing list.



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