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February 04, 2011
1206 Program Delivers Four
helos to Yemen Air Force
By Brandon Denecke and Juanita
WASHINGTON - The
Yemen Air Force (YAF) took delivery of four utility helicopters
from the United States under the 1206 program, on 16 January.
Yemen received spares and associated tools for the Bell UH-1Hs,
or Huey IIs, on 3 January.
The delivery of this package comes
exactly one hundred and ten days after the U.S. Government
signed a contract, valued at $27 million, to provide to the
government of Yemen four helicopters, training, spare parts,
tools, support and transportation. Brandon Denecke, DSCA's
Team Leader for the Building Partner Capacity, Stability
Operations and Counter Terrorism Team, which administers the
1206 Program, said that this case is important for various
reasons. "The swift execution of the
Yemen Huey II program demonstrates that the military departments
- in this case the U.S. Army
- can quickly deliver defense articles
and services to U.S. partners with the cooperation of U.S.
industry," said Denecke.
"However, even more important is that
this program is helping the U.S. and Yemen to accomplish
their common goals to combat terrorism."
On 1 November 2010, the first six
YAF pilots began Huey training at a Bell Helicopter facility in
Alliance, TX. For the flying portion of the training, the pilots
used one of the actual helicopters that was later sent to Yemen.
Bell trained a total of twelve pilots and twenty maintenance
personnel on the operations of the new YAF Huey II aircraft.
In fiscal year 2006, Congress authorized the 1206 program which
allows the executive branch to rapidly provide foreign partners
with military equipment and training to respond to emergent
counter terrorism requirements. To date the U.S. Government has
provided approximately $1.5 billion of equipment and training to
U.S. partners under this authority. The Bell Huey family of
helicopters includes a wide range of civil and military aircraft
produced since 1956 and still manufactured in 2010. Bell
upgrades the venerable UH-1H helicopter at a plant in Ozark, AL.
The standard Huey II upgrade provides all new commercial dynamic
components with the Honeywell T53-L-703 engine to provide the
customer with a more powerful and efficient helicopter that can
transport up to eleven passengers, depending on the weather and
elevation. It is a reliable helicopter that is helping to meet
the counterterrorism needs of the YAF.