Minot Air Force Base getting new helicopters

Published: Dec. 16, 2019 at 1:05 PM CST
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The Minot Air Force Base is among other similar bases that will soon receive replacements for the Vietnam-era Huey helicopters.

A ceremony will be held later this week at Duke Field, in Crestview, Florida where Air Force officials will accept the first delivery of the Huey's replacement, the MH-139A helicopter, and announce its name.

The new helicopter is the first major acquisition in the Air Force command's 10-year history. The helicopters provide security and support for the nation's intercontinental ballistic missile fields.

The MH-139 was acquired from Boeing at a cost of about $2.4 billion for up to 84 aircraft. The North Dakota base is expected to receive 11 MH-139s in the next several years. Minot currently has 8 Hueys.

About $66 million in federal funding has been appropriated so far to fund a new facility to house operation and maintenance of the new helicopters.

Construction of the helicopter facility is expected to start in the spring of 2020 and be completed in the spring of 2022, according to Sen. John Hoeven's office.