MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, North Carolina -- Marines braved the winds as they leaped from a KC-130J Super Hercules into the sky during parachute and aerial delivery training near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 6.
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, gave critical skills operators with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command a lift in support of the elite unit’s training. More than 60 CSOs got a chance to put their parachuting skills to the test with the help of VMGR-252’s highly trained pilots and air crew.
According to Maj. Andrew Myers, a naval aviator with VMGR-252, aerial deliveries are a central focus of the squadron’s training routine. They are conducted regularly to ensure the pilots and crew members are familiar with the required procedures for delivering Marines and supplies into remote areas.
“Aerial drops are beneficial to every element participating in the training exercise,” said Myers. “The pilots and aircrew receive more flight experience, while the ground units receive a training environment where they can safely hone their skills.”
Aerial deliveries can be used to transport personnel, cargo or heavy equipment in a timely and effective manner and is essential to the mission readiness of both the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.
“This capability allows us to deliver a great number of Marines, supplies or heavy equipment in to any objective area in an expedient manner,” said Myers. “Time is a key factor for the success of any mission. Aerial delivery is one of the quickest forms of transportation in both garrison and combat environments.”
Aerial delivery is a commonly used form of travel for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Mobilizing large numbers of troops and supplies into any objective within hours supports the MAGTF’s ability to respond anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.
“Aerial deliveries help us gain an advantage over situations while still maintaining proficiency and safety as a top priority. These training exercises allow us to continue advancing and focusing on our skills to provide the best support we can to accomplish the mission.”