VR-61 gets its first C-40A aircraft at NAS Whidbey Island

A new chapter in Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 61 (VR-61) storied history opened on Nov. 21, 2014. VR-61 accepted the Navy’s newest C-40A Clipper, 168980, a commercial Boeing 737-700.

As fate would have it, this plane was also Boeing’s 5,000th next generation 737 off the production line. Whidbey Island was a natural fit for 980 to call home as it was assembled right here in Washington.

Fleet Logistics Support Wing Deputy Commodore, Capt Scott Eargle, Boeing C-40A Program Manager Scott Dieckhaus and the Islanders officially welcomed 980 on Dec. 6, 2014 into service at a ceremony in Hangar 11.

With the acceptance of their new aircraft, VR-61’s capabilities have been upgraded. The new jet can accommodate more passengers and cargo and has a greater range than its predecessor, the C-9B Skytrain. With a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet the C-40A can also climb above most weather disturbances which translates into a smoother more comfortable ride for Sailors and Marines.

VR-61 is comprised of over 250 professionals, both Active Duty personnel and Selected Reservists. The squadron provides seven days a week, around the clock, worldwide logistics support to all Department of Defense agencies.

Fleet Logistics Support Wing Deputy Commodore Capt. Scott Eargle speaks to the "Islanders" of VR-61 about the enormous impact that the Clipper will have on the fleet as the squadron Commanding Officer Cmdr. Brian Wilson, Boeing's C-40A Program Manager Scott Dieckhaus and squadron Executive Officer Cmdr. Rocky Burns listen. (Official Navy Photo)

Fleet Logistics Support Wing Deputy Commodore Capt. Scott Eargle speaks to the “Islanders” of VR-61 about the enormous impact that the Clipper will have on the fleet as the squadron Commanding Officer Cmdr. Brian Wilson, Boeing’s C-40A Program Manager Scott Dieckhaus and squadron Executive Officer Cmdr. Rocky Burns listen. (Official Navy Photo)

Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) 2nd Class Donald Fowler of VR-61 stands in position as the plane captain ready to taxi in the Navy's newest C-40A Clipper. (Official Navy Photo)

Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) 2nd Class Donald Fowler of VR-61 stands in position as the plane captain ready to taxi in the Navy’s newest C-40A Clipper. (Official Navy Photo)

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