View Full Version : 'Phroggy’ unit celebrates forty years

07-29-04, 06:46 AM
'Phroggy’ unit celebrates forty years
Submitted by: MCAS New River
Story Identification #: 2004728141610
Story by Lance Cpl. Jeffrey A. Everitt

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. (July 16, 2004) -- The 40th anniversary of the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter, or "phrog" as it is known to many, as celebrated here at a ceremony July 16.

In attendance were some of the major players in Marine aviation and some Station members, along with Patrick M. Shanahan, vice president/general manager of Rotorcraft Systems of Boeing Co.

They included Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hough, deputy commandant for aviation; retired Lt. Gen. Fred McCorkle, former deputy commandant for avia tion; Maj. Gen. Robert M. Flanagan, commander, Marine Corps Air Bases Eastern Area/commanding general, MCAS Cherry Point; retired Maj. Gen.
Thomas A. Braaten, commander, MCABE/CG MCAS Cherry Point; retired Brig. Gen. Guy M. Vander Linden, deputy chief of staff, programs and resources; Col. Thomas M. Murray, commanding officer, Marine Aircraft Group-26; and Lt. Col. Mitchell A. Bauman, program manager, Naval Air
Systems Command H-46 Program Office.

Shanahan was one of the speakers and said he was honored to speak at the Sea Knight's 40th anniversary ceremony in the presence of so many Marines who have flown and maintained the
venerable Sea Knight.

"Generations of Marines have operated CH-46s in countless combat and combat support missions and have saved countless lives in humanitarian missions literally around the globe," he
said. "Boeing and the Corps have worked together on CH-46s for more than 40 years, a measurable segment of Marine history.

"On July 10, 1964, the first CH-46A arrived (at Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-265) in New River. This marked the beginning of the 40-year legacy we are celebrating today; forty
years in which Sea Knights have been an integral part of the Corps. The Sea Knight incorporated new and improved helicopter technologies such as tandem rotors, light-weight twin-turbine engines, a cargo ramp, a sixty-second automatic blade folding system to improve shipboard operations and a 40-knot increase in air speed over earlier helicopters."

Another "phrogologist" elaborated on the helicopter's inception. "The aircraft was introduced on a rapid-fire basis with peak transition in 1967, when the Marine Corps was starting up a new
squadron every 60 days," said Bill Janning, field operations manager with Boeing Co., originally from Duncan, Okla.

The Sea Knight was first used by the Marine Corps in Vietnam as a medium lift aircraft and has served the Marines in every clime and place since then.

"The CH-46 has been in essentially every combat mission in the last 40 years," added Janning.

Some of these places and operations include Vietnam; Grenada; Beirut, Lebanon; Desert Shield; Desert Storm; Bosnia; Somalia; Haiti; Rwanda; Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The "phrog" has gone through some changes during the forty years since it was introduced to the Marine Corps.

"The CH-46 has evolved from the A model to the E through a series of improvements," Janning said.

One of these improvements was the installation of guns and armor for a safer more protected flight.

The current CH-46E was created after a conversion program that started in 1975 and ended in 1983.

"This has resulted in the best operational readiness and the safest, most reliable helicopter the Navy/Marine Corps has today," concluded Janning.


Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hough, deputy commandant for aviation, speaks to families and personnel about the CH-46 and its 40 years of service to the Marine Corps. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Jeffrey A. Everitt