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N.C. workers keep copters flying for Marines in Iraq, Afghanistan

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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-20-07 04:12 AM
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N.C. workers keep copters flying for Marines in Iraq, Afghanistan
Havelock heroes modernize aging aircraft, resurrect derelicts from 'boneyard'

Jay Price, Staff Writer

With two wars chewing up the Marine Corps' fleet of big helicopters, about the only thing keeping it aloft is the ingenuity of the workers at a huge maintenance shop in Havelock.

The 4,000 workers at the Fleet Readiness Center East at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point are adding years to the lives of some helicopters and refurbishing others dragged out of an aviation "boneyard" in the desert. Many are so clever at devising ways to fix aircraft out of production for decades that their bosses refer to them as artisans.


Workers there have already rebuilt two that spent more than a decade in a desert "boneyard" in Arizona. They are working on three more, and the next two are being readied for shipment to Havelock, said Lt. Col. A.P. Camele, director of operations at the center.

The Super Stallion is often described as the Corps' workhorse and is that service's only "heavy lift" helicopter. It moves large amounts of cargo and troops long distances and performs rescue missions.

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