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A CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462 maintains an extremely low altitude for a Helicopter Support Team with Combat Logistics Regiment 17 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 21. HMH-462 transported simulated cargo while the HST conducted training that included connecting and disconnecting cargo.

Photo by Cpl. Owen Kimbrel

HMH-462 conducts external lift training with CLR-17

22 Aug 2014 | Cpl. Owen Kimbrel 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462 conducted external cargo lifts in coordination with a Helicopter Support Team with Combat Logistic Regiment 17 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 21.

The training gives Marines the ability to quickly transport supplies in unfriendly terrain without having to land the helicopter. However, without the help of HST Marines to attach the cargo, supplies could not be easily moved in a real-life situation.

For training purposes, the Marines attached an 8,000 pound beam to two hooks suspended from the bottom of a CH-53E Super Stallion. This training keeps the team and helicopter crew current with procedures required to keep everyone safe while fastening cargo.

“We get the hands-on training with our junior Marines so they get the experience to be able to apply it in the field,” said Cpl. Donald Harp, a landing support specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 17.

The HST successfully attached the payload 15 times allowing the pilots to experience the effects of carrying heavy loads.

“This type of training is the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the CH-53 community,” said Capt. Christopher Reed, a CH-53E pilot with HMH-462. “We are that logistical combat element for ground units, able to provide support to anyone in the Marine Corps.”

The aircraft lifted a total of 120,000 pounds by the time the training ended, giving every Marine multiple repetitions in their respective roles.

“We had a lot of good training today with everyone. It’s always fun to go out and perform some external loads,” added Reed.

The squadron will continue to train and rehearse with HST Marines to refine their skills so they are ready to provide an external lift at a moment’s notice.