31st flock, VH139: ten years in the service of the country

(To air Force)

It was May 31, 2012 when the VH139 helicopter landed for the first time at Ciampino airport, effectively marking the start of its service under the 31st wing. Yesterday, Tuesday 31 May 2022, the first 31 years in the service of the 10rd flight group were celebrated in the helicopter hangar of the 93st wing of the Italian Air Force.

Pilots, crews, technicians, former members of the 93rd group and friends of the 31st Wing shared operational experiences and professional memories of these ten years that saw the VH139, built by Leonardo, as protagonist Helicopters Division, in transport missions of the high offices of the State, of the personnel of the Civil Protection Department.

During the opening speech, Major Federico Rispoli, commander of the 93rd flight group, underlined: "due to the particular type of mission we are called to carry out, which is often assigned to us with short notice times and for the most varied needs, the VH139 helicopter looks like a tailor-made suit for us of the 93rd Group. Thanks to features such versatility and flexibility, it allows us to successfully complete even the most difficult missions. "

"10 years of VH139. A helicopter that has collected an important legacy, that of the SH-3D". These are the words of the commander of the 31st flock, Colonel Gianmattia Somma. “In these ten years it has shown that it is up to par with its predecessor, bringing home equally excellent and important results. Leonardo's VH139 represents one of the best syntheses of Made in Italy, also thanks to the teamwork between the Italian Air Force and the national aeronautical industry ".

"In ten years - continued col. Sum - we have totaled about 6500 flight hours, enabled 27 pilots, at the moment we have 12 pilots and 14 on-board operators who allow us to carry out the Flock's mission. Two popes, two presidents of the republic and numerous high offices of the state and government have flown on this aircraft ".