Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. -- Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465 “Warhorse” conducted a troop transport exercise aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Sept. 11.
The exercise provides training for the pilots and crew, as well as a way to move personnel.
A CH-53E Super Stallion departed Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and flew to MCAS Yuma to pick up 17 Marines from Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39. HMH-465 then transported the Marines to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
“It’s important because we are supporting our own,” said Capt. Kevin Rector, a Warhorse pilot. “The Marines at MAG-39 fall under the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, so it’s good to be able to support ourselves locally and abroad.”
The flight allows the entire crew to see different types of terrain, from the desert of MCAS Yuma to the mountainous terrain of MCB Camp Pendleton, explained Rector.
The six-hour flight allowed the pilots and air crew to use night vision goggles, which permitted them to complete required night training as well.
“We had a Marine who had his first night flight tonight. So we were able to knock out some valuable training,” said Cpl. Isaiah Hildreth, a crew chief with HMH-465. “It’s fun, I genuinely enjoy my job.”
The crew finished the exercise without flaw and remains mission ready to assist Marines at a moment’s notice.