PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The Navy’s C-40 fleet has undergone some major changes in the last few months — adding two airplanes, one squadron and completing its current planned aircraft procurements, according to a Naval Air Systems Command release.
The Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) took delivery of the Navy’s 16th aircraft in June and 17th aircraft on Sept. 26. The Navy’s latest C-40A will be assigned to U.S. Naval Reserve Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 57.
These last two deliveries have allowed the C-40 fleet to realign and expand its horizons.
“The C-40 plays an important role in the Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift (NUFEA) fleet,” said Capt. Steve Nassau, PMA-207’s program manager. “These extremely flexible logistics support aircraft are an integral part of every type of maritime mission, from humanitarian assistance to long-range, high priority deliveries.”
The sixth Navy C-40 squadron was established in September. VR-51, nicknamed the Windjammers and deploying from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, received two C-40 aircraft from the fleet. The squadron will be fully operational in October, following receipt of its “safe for flight” certification.
“The … certification is an entire program overview in which the government ensures that all contractor, aircrew and government operating procedures are in place and functioning correctly,” said Darwin Lazo, PMA-207’s medium-lift deputy assistant program manager for logistics. “It is the final certification for a new squadron.”
VR-51 will soon begin entering the VR deployment rotation.
“There is always a C-40 deployed to U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command and U.S. Pacific Command to meet mission requirements,” said Donna Elliott, PMA-207’s medium-lift IPTL.
Over the past year, the C-40 fleet logged 24,374 hours of flight time, completed 1,555 missions, transported 95,746 passengers and 20 million tons of cargo. In doing so, the aircraft has maintained a 90% readiness rate and has played a vital role in providing military transport not available with contract or commercial carriers. The C-40, a commercial derivative of the Boeing 737-700C, is the mainstay of the Navy’s medium-lift capability.