Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. --
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 added its first UH-1Y Venom to its aircraft arsenal April 17. The “Sabers” were the last squadron Corps-wide to upgrade to the Venom from the UH-1N Huey.
The UH-1N entered service with the USMC in 1971, and was used for battlefield reconnaissance, airborne command and control and close air support. It has participated in each armed conflict the Marine Corps has had a role in since its induction.
The first flight of the fully-configured UH-1Y took place in 2003. The Marine Corps integrated the first Venom into its operational forces in October 2005.
The new aircraft boasts its most noticeable change, four-bladed, ballistically tolerant main and tail rotors. It also features upgraded integrated avionic systems, dual engines and the capacity to carry larger payloads.
“The Venom has more power and gives us the capacity to conduct more missions,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan E. Lee, a UH-1Y transition instructor with Marine Aircraft Group 29. “This aircraft allows us the opportunity to have longer flight times versus the Huey which has a more limited window of operations.”
Increasing flight time means better support to ground combat elements, said Lee.
“It is easier for us to now provide the support that the troops on the ground need, how they need it, when they need it,” he said.
1st Lt. Patrick Healy, a pilot with the squadron, has logged about 60 hours of flight time in UH-1Y helicopters.
“The Venom is awesome,” said Healy. “It is an extremely capable aircraft that will be a valuable asset to the Marine Corps. We can now support every mission the Marine Corps has to offer.”
Healy said he looks forward to putting the power and capabilities of the bird to the test.
The squadron is scheduled receive more Venoms in the near future, which will be gradually integrated into the squadron through completion of the transition.