News: HMH-366 detachment returns after demonstrating heavy lifting capabilities
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – A detachment of more than 100 Marines from Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 returned home to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Aug. 21, after a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
"Our mission was to provide heavy lift assault support to coalition forces," said Lt. Col. Richard T. Anderson, commanding officer of HMH-366.
Because of the array of operational commitments the squadron's Marines support, its OEF detachment combined forces with HMH-466 out of MCAS Miramar, Calif., to form the fully mission capable 'HMH-America'.
While deployed, the squadron employed its CH-53E Super Stallions to support ground troops by providing troop movements and logistics, said Cpl Jerry G. Parker, the detachment assistant operations chief.
"We lifted more than six million pounds of cargo, transported 4,000 passengers and carried out more than 190 tactical operations missions where personnel were inserted and extracted from objective areas."
All-in-all, HMH-America completed more than 5,000 flight hours while providing tactical and operational support, said Parker.
In addition to their accomplishments in the air, the approximately 240 HMH-America Marines performed more than 100 drug interdiction operations, where they helped law enforcement officials seize and destroy narcotics worth about $3 million.
"The HMH-America team worked flawlessly while they were out there," said Anderson. "There wasn't a mission that they could not accomplish and they brought back everyone that they took out. That in itself is the biggest mission we accomplished."
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