The Department of Transportation's Director of Procurement for the Department of Defense (Director) and the US Procurement Mission completed a large-scale operation overnight Saturday with the unloading and delivery of Five US Navy Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters.
To address the growing difficulty in finding spare parts for the IDF's veteran fleet of helicopters, the US Department of Defense, together with the Air Force, initiated a procurement of US helicopters that were demolished to be used as spare parts for Israel's helicopters.
The introduction of US helicopters to Israel required a logistical operation in the US and Israel, which was entrusted with the procurement delegation and the unit responsible for transporting the vehicles, the Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.
About a month and a half ago, the helicopters were loaded onto a ship in the port of Houston, USA. Tonight, at Ashdod port, at the height of the operation, the helicopters were received by the Defense Ministry. The helicopters were unloaded from the ship in an operation which lasted several hours and loaded into trucks on their way to the air bases this morning.
Head of the US Air Force Procurement Division, Avi Meshiach, said, "As soon as the Air Force was assigned to the mission, we started looking for helicopters to meet the appropriate profile and operational needs. We located five American Army surplus helicopters that met the requirements, and immediately began to work to get all the helicopter purchase permits for spare parts and for shipping them from Houston, Texas, thousands of miles to Israel."
Deputy Commissioner of Defense in the Ministry of Defense, Shai Halperin, added "The Ministry of Defense annually shifts thousands of tons of military equipment to and from the State of Israel. The current operation required special assessments, both because of the complexity of loading huge helicopters into the belly of a cruise ship and the importance of the mission to the security system and the Air Force. I am glad that after weeks of strenuous activity, we were able to safely land the special delivery at its new home in the Air Force. "