New Marine One for US President “ready today”


Through Dan Parsons | August 5, 2021

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 23 seconds.

US President Joe Biden is just months away from making his first ride in the new Presidential VH-92 helicopter, which, when he climbs aboard, will become the first new “Marine One” in more than 40 years.

All the necessary parts are in place for a transition to the VH-92A from the former VH-3D Sea King, which entered service in 1976, according to Marine Corps Major General Greg Masiello, program manager. of aerial anti-submarine warfare. , assault and special mission programs at US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

VH-92 helicopter on the tarmac at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.  The VH-92 test aircraft has proven its production capability by undergoing rigorous US government testing and operational evaluations.  US Navy Photo
VH-92A helicopter on the tarmac at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River. The VH-92A test aircraft has proven its production capability by undergoing rigorous US government testing and operational evaluations. US Navy Photo

Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) is currently piloting the first four Sikorsky VH-92 helicopters, and delivery of two more is “imminent,” Masiello said Aug. 3 in a briefing at the annual Sea-Air conference. -Space of the Navy League. outside of Washington, DC These two will be the first two representative aircraft in production, rather than test items.

The VH-92 made its first public sortie on July 4, 2019, during President Trump’s Independence Day Extravaganza on the National Mall. He was first seen performing test landings on the White House lawn in 2018 and has been an occasional presence in DC skies since then.

“The squadron and the program are ready today,” Masiello said. “So we have enough planes for the initial use. We have enough trained pilots. We have the support equipment. We have all that stuff.

Based on the commercial Sikorsky S-92, the new helicopter is a VIP version with classified communication technologies and defensive countermeasures specifically designed to transport the US President and other dignitaries.

The squadron “began to transition out of the old plane,” Masiello said. “The fleet is trained and ready to go and we are working with the White House military office on the commissioning schedule, but the squadron already has it and is operating it.”

Marine Corps Headquarters and the White House are working on the transition plan and schedule for training more HMX-1 pilots to fly not only the VH-92, but also the legacy VH-3D and VH-60 and “how we are going to phase out and phase in,” he said.

This training campaign and a VH-92 commissioning plan “will come together over the next few months and you will see the VH-92s in service shortly,” Masiello said.

The Marine Corps plans to purchase 23 VH-92s, each costing $ 217 million, according to the 2021 Government Accountability Office assessment of key Defense Department programs.


Kevin E. Boling

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