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Air Station Atlantic City completes transition to MH-65E


An Air Station Atlantic City MH-65E returns home from California by airlift after supporting a presidential security detail through the deployable Rotary Wing Air Intercept mission. U.S. Coast Guard photo. 

The upgraded MH-65E short range recovery helicopter continues to bring added capability and efficiency to Coast Guard air stations across the nation, including Air Station Atlantic City, which completed its transition to the Echo configuration in August. 

The added capabilities were on display during a recent medical evacuation from a cruise ship located 118 miles offshore conducted by an Atlantic City aircrew. The MH-65E pilot was able to use the Dolphin’s new cockpit display computer to calculate the aircraft’s maximum range and required speed after inputting the weight of the patient and rescue swimmer into the flight plan. The system revealed there was enough fuel not only to return with the full crew and an additional passenger but also that the MH-65E could fly the patient directly to the hospital before returning to the air station. This enabled the patient to receive treatment sooner and avoided having to leave the rescue swimmer on the cruise ship until a second helicopter could be launched for recovery. 

Since transitioning to the MH-65E, Air Station Atlantic City has responded to more than 60 search and rescue cases, saving two lives and assisting six others. 

The MH-65 Conversion and Sustainment Program is completing avionics upgrades including an improved flight control system, integrated weather radar and digital cockpit architecture. The program also is executing a Service Life Extension Program to extend the service life of the airframe by replacing five major structural components. The work is being completed at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. 

Transition of Air Station Atlantic City took nine months and involved 12 helicopters including two at the National Capital Region Air Defense Facility (NCRADF) near Washington, D.C.  Both NCRADF and Air Station Atlantic City conduct Rotary Wing Air Intercept (RWAI) missions and frequently support airspace security requirements in multiple locations with deployable RWAI aircraft and crews. Since June, Air Station Atlantic City has supported more than 44 MH-65E aircraft deployment days, with three scrambles and eight runway alerts.  

Air Station Atlantic City supports a wide range of Coast Guard operations, such as search-and-rescue, law enforcement, port security and marine environmental protection, for both District One and District Five, encompassing the coasts, bays and rivers across Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.  

For more information: MH-65 Short Range Recovery Helicopter Program page