The Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) has successfully delivered the first of two C-40A aircraft to Marine Transport Squadron (VMR) 1, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 41, on May 19. This milestone marks a significant achievement for the Marine Corps as it fulfills a critical requirement for organic long-range logistical airlift capability.

Colonel Steve Puckett, the program manager for PMA-207, expressed the importance of this delivery, stating, “Delivery of this aircraft meets a critical Marine Corps requirement for organic long-range logistical airlift capability. These aircraft have been specially equipped for agile tasking and can be reconfigured on the spot to carry Marines, cargo, or a combination of both.”

The Marine Corps’ first C-40A aircraft, assigned to Marine Transport Squadron (VMR) 1, Marine Air Group 41, 4th Marine Air Wing, Marine Forces Reserve, lands at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth Texas, May 19, 2023. VMR 1 will use these aircraft, which were former 737 passenger planes, to support the Marine Corps and Joint services with assault support in the form of air logistics, providing time-, place- or mission-sensitive, long-range, multipurpose air transport of key personnel and cargo between and within combatant commands and theaters of war. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ashley Corbo)

Procured from the secondary market, both C-40A aircraft have undergone unique configurations to suit the specific needs of the U.S. Marine Corps. Notable features of the Marine Corps version of the C-40A include a palletized seating design and a Federal Aviation Administration-approved “Combi” Soft Barrier, enabling the aircraft to transport passengers and cargo concurrently. Additionally, the aircraft boasts new engines, winglets, added power systems for electronic flight bags, and the latest LED lighting technology.

Jim Thompson, the deputy program manager for PMA-207 Fixed Wing/Operational Support Aircraft, commended the achievement of the C-40 team, stating, “This is a great accomplishment for our C-40 team. As with most aircraft acquisition efforts, there were challenges, but I am proud of the accomplishment of our small team. Their hard work, devotion, and patience have contributed to, and permitted the delivery of a critical asset to the Marines.”

The C-40A “Clipper” is derived from the Boeing 737-700C commercial airliner and has been in service with the U.S. Navy since 2001. It replaces the retired C-9B aircraft, which served the Marine Corps faithfully for 44 years until its retirement in 2018. The delivery of the second Marine C-40A aircraft is scheduled for early fall 2023.

The acquisition of the C-40A aircraft demonstrates the Marine Corps’ commitment to maintaining and enhancing its logistical capabilities. With its versatile configuration options and improved features, the C-40A will play a vital role in supporting the Marines’ missions, allowing for the efficient transportation of personnel and essential supplies over long distances.

The Marine Transport Squadron (VMR) 1, part of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 41, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is excited to integrate the C-40A into their operations. The squadron’s pilots and crew are undergoing training to familiarize themselves with the new aircraft’s capabilities and handling.

The delivery of the first C-40A aircraft represents a significant milestone for PMA-207 and the Marine Corps, underscoring their commitment to modernizing and expanding their operational capabilities. With the upcoming delivery of the second C-40A aircraft later this year, the Marine Corps is poised to further strengthen its long-range logistical airlift capability, supporting the mobility and effectiveness of its forces around the world.

As the Marines embrace the C-40A “Clipper” aircraft, they are well-positioned to tackle the logistical challenges of the future, ensuring their ability to respond swiftly and effectively to a wide range of operational requirements.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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