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A CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 takes off to conduct a troop lift exercise with 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., The CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest helicopter in the United States military, and able to carry a 26,000-pound Light Armored Vehicle, 16 tons of cargo, or enough combat-loaded Marines to lead an assault or humanitarian operation. The capabilities provided by the CH-53E strengthen the expeditionary capabilities of Marines Corps units and make this aircraft one of the most useful in the Marine Corps. HMH-461 is part of Marine Aircraft Group 29, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam

2nd ANGLICO, HMH-461 team up for troop lift training

4 Aug 2016 | Lance Cpl. Luke Hoogendam The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 supported 2nd Air Naval Gun Liaison Company by conducting a troop lift exercise at Marine Corps Air Station New River, July 28, 2016.

A troop lift consists of moving Marines from one location to the next to reinforce an area or conduct humanitarian missions. The CH-53E Super Stallion can carry 27 Marines, however, if necessary, middle row seats can be installed to support up to 50 or more Marines. 

“The training allowed 2nd ANGLICO Marines to practice giving landing zone briefs to the pilots as well as provided the pilots with confined area landing practice,” said Capt. Michael J. Inzeo, a pilot for HMH-461. “As a pilot, I learned that despite what the Marine on the ground is telling you to do, it is ultimately my responsibility to land the aircraft safely.” 

During the exercise, the aircraft were required to land in a specific area and in a specific direction that was coordinated by landing zone control operators to provide the troops with easy access to the helicopter and facilitate a quicker departure.

“This kind of exercise can be complicated,” said Staff Sgt. David Scranton, a crew chief for HMH-461. “Doing this sort of training facilitates movements for supporting ground units as well as training for our aircrew.”  

It is vital for ground and air units to be comfortable and proficient while conducting troop lifts to better prepare for future operations, as well as being able to deliver personnel and cargo safely and efficiently.

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