FORT HOOD, Texas (Aug. 21, 2012) — Iconic, dependable, reliable, tough, a workhorse, an air cavalryman’s steed.
All were used to describe the UH-1 Iroquois, affectionately known as the “Huey,” during its retirement ceremony, Aug. 18, at Robert Grey Army Airfield, when the 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) conducted a ceremonial airlift with the final three UH-1s remaining in the active-duty Army.
At the end of August, 21st Cav. Bde. Commander Col. Neil Hersey said those Hueys will be flown to, and retired with Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, AMCOM, which is headquartered at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.
Hersey called the UH-1’s retirement bittersweet.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the ceremony that sends them off appropriately,” he said. “It’s sad because this platform has meant so much to this unit over the years and to the Army as a whole. It really made the helicopter, in Army aviation, the important aspect of Army aviation that it is.”
Hueys were already mostly out of the tactical troop lift business by the time I joined the Army. But there were still quite a few around. Mind you, that was 27 years ago. I managed to snag a ride or two over the years.
And while Hubert will no longer serve in the Active Army, there are still a lot of other operators out there that have no plans to replace their UH-1s. They get the job done.