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Reconnaissance Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., disembark a CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465 during a troop lift exercise aboard MCB Camp Pendleton, June 3. A parachute operation was also involved with the troop lift during the collaborative training between the reconnaissance Marines and HMH-465.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn

Marines jump off of Super Stallions for parachute operations

6 Jun 2014 | Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465 participated in troop-lift and parachute operations with reconnaissance Marines stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 3.

The troop-lift and parachute operations training involved the use of a CH-53E Super Stallion from HMH-465, honing in their integrated capabilities.

“Doing stuff like this goes beyond our basic training,” said Capt. Scott Blyth, CH-53E pilot with HMH-465. “We go from just basic take offs and landings to moving groups of Marines from one zone to another.”

Involvement between multiple Marines was crucial in the success of the troop-lift and parachute operations. Interactions such as hand signs designating remaining time between executions; communication between the aircrew to maintain the flight; and overall collaboration between jumpmasters, jumpers and aircrew; ensured mission accomplishment for this training.

“Training like this is crucial for both of our groups,” said Sgt. Troy Highfield, aerial observer with HMH-465. “They can’t do it without us, and we can’t do it without them.”

Both movements helped the Marines with HMH-465 and reconnaissance Marines to prepare for real-life scenarios such as deployments in hostile areas.

“It’s important training for both the aircrew and the guys jumping out of the back,” said Blyth. “This is how we get proficient before we have to do the real thing.”

Exercises like these occur monthly with the squadron and the Marines they work with, promoting mission readiness in real situations.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing