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.Â 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.Â “The swift execution of the Yemen Huey II program demonstrates that the military departmentsÂ -Â in this case the U.S. ArmyÂ -Â can quickly deliver defense articles and services to U.S. partners with the cooperation of U.S. industry,”Â said Denecke.Â “However, even more important is that this program is helping the U.S. and Yemen to accomplishÂ 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.
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