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Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 17 coordinate with Marines aboard a CH-53E Super Stallion to attach a single-point hook to a model tank during an external lift exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 20. The exercise required communication between Marines on the ground and in the air for successful lifts.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn

HMH-361 practices heavy lifts with CH-53 Super Stallion

22 Nov 2013 | Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn

In combat, supplies and vehicles are a must and in most cases, they need to be transported fast from one place to another.

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 “Flying Tigers” performed an external lift exercise for that purpose aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 20. The exercise consisted of CH-53E Super Stallions flying to the Camp Pendleton area at different times to transport heavy cargo to various locations.

“For those that have done it like me, it’s not a difficult task, kind of like a giant claw-grabbing game,” said Cpl. Michael Coager, crew chief with HMH-361 from Tulsa, Okla. “However, for someone’s first time, it can be extremely overwhelming with all the commands from the radio, necessary actions, and overall communication within and outside of the helicopter during each lift.”

The Super Stallions went through four practice lifts. They lifted simulated tanks and Humvees, which is a mission often flown on deployment. The simulated vehicles, made from wood to resemble the vehicles, were carefully connected to a single-point hook hanging from the helicopter with the assistance of Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 17 on the ground.

“The flight was an overall success between everyone,” said Lt. Col. Manlee J. Herrington, commanding officer of HMH-361. “There was smooth communication between those on the aircraft and those on the ground, which was necessary for the exercise.”

Exercises like these greatly assist the unit’s overall mission readiness out in the field. When Marines need supplies delivered or heavy extractions performed, The Flying Tigers and their Super Stallions will be ready

In combat, supplies and vehicles are a must and in most cases, they need to be transported fast from one place to another.

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 “Flying Tigers” performed an external lift exercise for that purpose aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 20. The exercise consisted of two CH-53E Super Stallions flying out to the Camp Pendleton area at different times to transport heavy cargo to various locations.

            “For those that have done it like me, it’s not a difficult task, kind of like a giant claw grabbing game,” said Cpl. Michael Coager, a crew chief with HMH-361 from Tulsa, Okla. “However, for someone’s first time, it can be extremely overwhelming with all the commands from the radio, necessary actions, and overall communication within and outside of the helicopter during each lift.”

            The Super Stallions went through four practice lifts. HMH-361 lifted simulated tanks and Humvees, which is a mission often flown on deployment. The simulated vehicles, made from wood to resemble their counterparts, were carefully connected to a single-point hook hanging from the helicopter with the assistance of Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 17 on the ground.

            “The flight was an overall success between everyone,” said Lt. Col. Manlee J. Herrington, the commanding officer of HMH-361. “There was smooth communication between those on the aircraft and those on the ground, which was necessary for the exercise.”

            Exercises like these greatly assist the unit’s overall mission readiness out in the field. The Flying Tigers and their Super Stallions will be ready when Marines need supplies delivered or heavy extractions performed. 


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing