Posted: August 4, 2014 2:16 PM
Marine Corps to Retire UH-1N Helicopters in September; HH-1Ns in 2015
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marine Corps will say goodbye to a long-serving utility helicopter type in September as it retires its last UN-1N Iroquois, almost universally known as the “Huey,” after 43 years of service. The UH-1N is being replaced by the UH-1Y Venom, a highly upgraded version of the UH-1N.
The last UH-1Ns, built by Bell Helicopter, are operated by Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 (HMLA-773), a reserve squadron split between three locations: Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La.; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. HMLA-773 took the UH-1N on its last deployment, in which two UH-1Ns sailed on a Royal Netherlands Navy ship in 2013 for an African Partnership Station deployment.
HMLA-773 already has begun transition to the UH-1Y. The squadron also operates the AH-1W Super Cobra gunship version.
Deliveries of the UH-1N to the Marine began in 1971. The Navy and Marine Corps procured 205 UH-1Ns, plus six VH-1N executive transports for Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the unit that provides transportation for the president of the United States. Ten UH-1Ns were remanufactured to UH-1Ys, after which the Corps decided to procure new UH-1Ys from Bell.
The Corps will continue to fly five unarmed HH-1N versions from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., until their retirement in 2015. These aircraft are the only HH-1Ns remaining in Marine Corps service from 44 converted from 38 UH-1Ns and the six VH-1Ns. The HH-1Ns also will be replaced by UH-1Ys.