Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. -- Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462 conducted external cargo lifts in coordination with a Helicopter Support Team (HST) with Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 13 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, Oct. 23.
The training gives Marines the ability to quickly transport supplies in unfriendly terrain without having to land the helicopter. Supplies could not be easily moved in a real-life situation without the help of HST Marines.
For training purposes, the Marines attached a decommissioned rocket pod to two hooks suspended from the underside of a CH-53E Super Stallion. This training keeps the team and helicopter crew up-to-date with procedures required to keep them safe underneath the aircraft.
“This training is important because it improves our combat readiness,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher Gauntt, a landing support specialist with CLB-13. “Being a deployable unit we do a lot of stuff like this to assist the mission.”
The HST successfully attached the payload multiple times to make sure all Marines received sufficient training.
“It’s important because it builds the proficiency of the pilots,” said Capt. Eric Chung, a CH-53E pilot with HMH-462. “The more you do it the better you become, so practice makes perfect.”
The ability to conduct external lifts is a key operation that HMH-462 conducts to support Marines throughout the Marine Corps.
“It’s awesome and a great opportunity every time they let us go out and fly,” added Chung.
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.