This CH-53 Super Stallion formation flight was performed to celebrate attaining the unit’s training requirements for this fiscal year
Taken on Sep. 22, 2017 the impressive pictures in this post show CH-53 Super Stallion heavy lift helicopters assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 302 (HMHT-302) conducting a formation flight at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, North Carolina.
As explained by Pfc. Nicholas Guevara, II Marine Expeditionary Force, in the article Riding the stallion: HMHT-302 conducts formation flight, the flight was performed to celebrate attaining the unit’s training requirements for this fiscal year.
“We launched eight CH-53 Super Stallions as a visualization of all the hard work we have put in this year,” said Lt. Col. Enrique Azenon, the commanding officer of the unit. “You usually don’t see this many aircraft flying at one time unless it’s during an operation, so it’s a sight to see.”
Noteworthy the Marines celebrated by flying to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and then flying back to MCAS New River. One of the pilots also received a special qualification after the flight for leading the formation.
“One of our pilots was qualifying for their Assault Flight Lead Check Flight,” said Azenon. “We are trying to put some more training into our instructor pilots for their proficiency and their job advancement.”
Because the Marines were able to reach all of their fiscal year requirements, the training enabled Marines to be proficient enough as a team to make the formation happen at such a large magnitude.
“This flight was definitely a win for the unit and for 2nd Marine Air Wing,” said Azenon. “Everyone collectively doing their part and showing what Marines can do really reflected in today’s flight.”
Built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) the CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest and heaviest helicopter in the U.S. military. The less common MH-53E Sea Dragon fills the U.S. Navy’s need for long range minesweeping or Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) missions, and perform heavy-lift duties for the Navy. A further development of the family is the new CH-53K King Stallion, which is equipped with new engines, new composite material rotor blades, and a wider aircraft cabin.
Photo credit: Pfc. Nicholas Guevara / U.S. Marine Corps