On May 19, Marine Transport Squadron 1 (VMR-1) welcomed the long-awaited arrival of its first Marine Corps C-40A aircraft during a ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Joint Reserve Base (JRB) Fort Worth. The glossy gray plane, featuring “United States Marines” painted on the side, is part of the Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift. The process of acquiring the aircraft began in the summer of 2017, with assistance from Texas 12th District Representative Kay Granger, who helped allocate funding for two C-40s. While waiting for the new aircraft, Marines under VMR-1 trained with Commander, Fleet Logistics Support Wing (CFLSW), accumulating over 12,000 flying hours and completing necessary qualifications.
“We are truly grateful for the continued support, training and mentorship of CFLSW and Navy Transport squadrons. I am beyond proud of the herculean effort the Marines of VMR-1 have accomplished over the past three years in procuring this aircraft,” said VMR-1 Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Kurz.
Major Nikhil Kesireddy, VMR-1’s Operation Officer said,“There were many challenges in acquiring the aircraft, but one of note is the combination barrier that required new engineering, construction, and testing.”
Marine Transport Squadron 1 (VMR-1) is a medium transport aircraft squadron of the United States Marine Corps. Also known as the “Roadrunners”, the squadron is based at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 41 and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. Provide assault support in the form of air logistics. Specifically, VMR-1 provides time, place, or mission sensitive, long range, multipurpose air transport and critical logistical support of key personnel and cargo between and within combatant commands and theaters of war, as well as to various other Department of Defense units.
The C-40A, a derivative of the Boeing 737-700C commercial airliner, has been used by the US Navy since 2001. The C-40A aircraft replace the C-9B aircraft, which was retired in 2018 after 44 years of service.The Marine Corps placed an order for two C-40A aircraft in 2018 and assigned its personnel with VMR-1 to work with Navy C-40s with Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 59. The C-40 is envisioned to provide strategic lift capabilities organic to the Marine Corps, capable of transporting personnel and or cargo farther and faster than any other aircraft currently with the service.