MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The same versatility of the CH-53 “Super Stallion” to transport equipment, supplies and Marines into remote areas makes it highly effective in modern warfare operations.
Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465, the “Warhorses,” assisted 20 reconnaissance Marines and corpsmen with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., with parachute operations training, Sept. 9.
Four groups of five reconnaissance Marines lined the deck of the CH-53 while attached to a static line, and jumped in sequence out of the Super Stallion from altitudes of 1,500 and 2,000 feet.
“This training allows the Marines to prepare for insertion into confined areas,” said Capt. Thomas V. McKeon, a CH-53 pilot with HMH-465. “It exposes us to different situations so when we deploy we can accomplish any mission.”
The Super Stallion landed in an open field where the Marines were suited up with SF-10 parachutes and helmets, waiting to board the helicopter.
The pilots and crew chiefs aboard the CH-53 then stepped off the aircraft and joined the jump masters and Marines of 1st Recon Battalion to discuss procedures and safety precautions before the jumpers got on the helicopter.
After boarding the CH-53, the aircraft passed over the target landing area multiple times before the wind died down enough for the Marines to safely jump.
The training emphasized integrating the two units and following all guidelines to ensure the safety of the jumpers.
“We feel confident that we can go to any unit and adhere to directives even if we have not worked with them before,” said Maj. Steven C. Johnson, the director of safety with HMH-465. “This type of training broadens our spectrum of cohesion with other units.”
The training ensures that the Marines of HMH-465 are ready to deploy and support all types of air-ground operations.