Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The Air Force Global Strike Command has named the MH-139A helicopter "Grey Wolf," an AFGSC strike commander announced.
Named for a species of wolf that roams the northern tier of north America -- and whose territory overlaps with the intercontinental ballistic missile bases in AFGSC -- Grey Wolf is the command's first major acquisition since its creation 10 years ago, according to the Air Force.
"It strikes fear in the hearts of many," said AFGSC Gen. Timothy Ray at a naming ceremony Thursday. "Its range is absolutely inherent to the ICBM fields we have. As they hunt as a pack, they attack as one, they bring the force of many. That's exactly how you need to approach the nuclear security mission."
According to the Air Force, the helicopters will provide security and support for U.S. ICBM fields, which span Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska.
In 2018 Boeing and Leonardo signed a deal to provide four MH-39s to the Air Force as part of a $2.39 billion program to replace UH-19 Iroquois helicopters, known as Hueys and in use since the Vietnam War.
Boeing is set to deliver up to 84 Grey Wolf helicopters, training devices and associated equipment under the deal.