July 8, 2021 —
Rear Adm. (Ret.) Anthony “Jack” Vogt received an MH-65E familiarization flight with Sector North Bend prior to his retirement as the commander of Coast Guard District 13. Sector North Bend was the fourth air station to fully transition to the MH-65E. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. Michael Baird.
The Coast Guard short range recovery helicopter program delivered CGNR 6521 to Sector North Bend, Oregon, June 28. With this delivery, 24 Dolphin helicopters have been converted to the “E” configuration, and Sector North Bend becomes the fourth air station to complete the transition to the upgraded aircraft.
The avionics upgrade to the Echo or “E” configuration includes reliability and capability improvements for the Automatic Flight Control System; enhanced digital weather/surface search radar; integration of a robust command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance suite; and modernization of the digital flight deck. In addition to the upgraded search and rescue capabilities, the advanced navigation capabilities will allow pilots to safely maneuver through highly congested, complex air traffic that can be encountered in situations such as disaster response.
At the same time, the Coast Guard is completing Service Life Extension Program activities to replace five major structure components: the nine-degree frame, canopy, center console floor assembly, floorboards and side panels. These mission-critical improvements are designed to extend the service life of the helicopter by 10,000 flight hours.
The Coast Guard is in the process of transitioning all its MH-65 air stations to the upgraded configuration; Air Station Houston, Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, Washington, and Air Station Miami have transitioned from the MH-65D to the MH-65E. Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, and the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron will be the next to receive the upgraded aircraft and complete the transition. The Coast Guard plans to convert all 98 aircraft to the MH-65E configuration by the end of fiscal year 2024.
For more information: MH-65 program page