CCAD Returns OH-58D Armed Scout Helicopter to the Fight
by Ed Mickley, CCAD Public Affairs
Maj. Gen. James Rogers, Commanding General, Aviation and Missile Command, congratulates Lt. Col. Mike Demirjian, 3rd Infantry Division’s 3-17 CAV Commander and his team on receiving a the newly repaired OH-58D Kiowa Warrior from Corpus Christi Army Depot during the Army Aviation Association's Annual convention in Nashville. U.S. Army photo by Ed Mickley, CCAD Public Affairs (RELEASED)
Nashville, TN (May 9, 2011) – A much-needed OH-58D Kiowa Warrior will soon be deployed. Maj. Gen. Jim Rogers, AMCOM Commanding General, handed over the newly repaired KW’s log books to the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3-17 CAV Commander, Lt. Col. Mike Demirjian, during an April 19 ceremony at Opryland’s Gaylord Hotel.
“Receiving this aircraft today gets me back to a healthy point where I actually have the aircraft I need to train my new aviators,” said Demirjian.
The is the second OH-58D Crash Battle Damaged helicopter repaired by CCAD, a crucial program to increase the number of Kiowa Warriors at a time when cost-effective measures are critical to support the war effort.
“This is all about getting aircraft back into the hands of Soldiers,” Rogers said during the handover presentation. “We are making sure that those battle crashed aircraft that would normally be scrapped, are put back together because we don't have any more 58's. There is no production line. This is all about taking care of our Soldiers and getting aircraft back in the fight.”
The Kiowa Warrior is a single-engine, two-seat reconnaissance and direct-fire support aircraft that has logged more than 600,000 combat hours between Iraq and Afghanistan, where it battles sand, snow and high altitudes. Used extensively in Afghanistan, the OH-58 Kiowa Warriors are in short supply due to their previously proposed phase-out and replacement by the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, a program that has since been cancelled. The OH-58 production line ended in 1999.
CCAD, along with the Armed Scout Helicopter Project Office, Aviation and Missile Command, Aviation and Missile Research Development & Engineering Center and Bell Helicopter, inducted the crash damaged OH-58D aircraft in 2008.
“We chose to use the depot, they have the tooling, the artisans that can make the parts needed to build these Kiowa Warriors,” said Lt. Col. Scott Rauer, Project Manager for Armed Scout Helicopters. “They delivered the first aircraft last October—it looked beautiful and flies great.”
“The bird you see here, 218 parts on this aircraft alone, structural parts, were made at the depot,” said Col. Christopher B. Carlile, CCAD Commander. “When you talk about source of supply, the source of supply is Corpus Christi Army Depot.”
"Basically, 10 percent of the aircraft is the original structure, 90 percent is brand new," Carlile said.
The helicopter passed several major processes as it was repaired: on arrival, it was inspected and added to the repair schedule. Then it was torn down and examined and analyzed for what it needed. The engine, transmission and components were removed and sent to different shops for repair and the structure was examined to see what needed to be done. A plan of action is worked up.
“We shipped one to CCAD that came off of our rotation so just knowing that when we put it in that container,” said Chief Warrant Officer Deanne Murawsky, 3-17 CAV KW pilot. “We didn’t think we would ever see it again.”
“But to be here and to see what they have done and to know that there’s a chance that we’ll get our helicopter back in the future is absolutely incredible, “ Murawsky said. “They do get damaged by whatever means and the fact that the Army is implementing this program for us to ensure that we continue to have what is the most beautiful helicopter I have ever seen.”
“Our artisans know that the soldiers need these aircraft,” added Carlile. “The depot is working to get the aviators the helicopters they need for their mission.”
Every Kiowa Warrior is an integral part of the Army’s force projection in theater and will be a critical piece of Combat Aviation Brigades for several more years. The Project Manager instituted the CBD repair program as part of the Army's effort to reduce platform sustainment costs and contain the expense of replacing aging helicopters.
“Corpus Christi took this mission on and you can see what the results are,” said Rogers. “These soldiers, pilots are going to take this aircraft and they’re going to deploy it and it will do everything a 58 was able to do before that.”
Maj. Gen. James Rogers, Commanding General, Aviation and Missile Command, hands off the logbooks for the newly repaired OH-58D Kiowa Warrior from Corpus Christi Army Depot to Lt. Col. Mike Demirjian, 3rd Infantry Division’s 3-17 CAV Commander and the crew chief, Sgt. 1st Class John Smith during the Army Aviation Association's Annual Convention in Nashville, TN. U.S. Army photo by Ed Mickley, CCAD Public Affairs (RELEASED)
Corpus Christi Army Depot's before-and-after OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Crash Battle Damage display took the spotlight during the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual forum held at the Gaylord Opryland hotel April 17-20. U.S Army Photo by Ed Mickley (RELEASED)