USS Peleliu --
When sending supplies by land or sea proves too slow and inefficient, sending it first class via a CH-53E Super Stallion is sometimes necessary.
Marines from Transport Support Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, did just that when the Helicopter Support Team rigged 1000 gallons of JP-5 fuel under two CH-53E Super Stallions, during PHIBRON-MEU Interoperability Training, June 5.
The training exercise gives Marines and the sailors of PHIBRON Three the opportunity to develop a strong partnership as they accomplish numerous training events during the two-week evolution.
The fuel went to San Clemente Island to establish a Forward Air Refueling Point for aircraft to refuel at as the MEU conducts exercises on the island.
“Externally lifting supplies is a faster and more efficient way of delivering supplies to Marines on the ground during training or even a fire fight in some cases,” said Cpl. Joshua V. Ruiz, landing support specialist, TS Detachment, CLB 15, 15th MEU. “Certain areas are also inaccessible by convoys or ships making this way necessary.”
Marines can transport almost anything under the helicopters, including meals ready to eat, ordnance, equipment and vehicles. Landing support specialists, recognized in the Marine Corps by the red patches they wear on their uniform, also rig CH-46E Sea Knights and MV-22 Ospreys, said Lance Cpl. Brandon A. Biggerstaff, landing support specialist, TS Detachment, CLB 15, 15th MEU.
The Helicopter Support Team is a valuable asset to the 15th MEU as it represents the expeditionary nature of the unit. Their work will prepare them for the MEU’s deployment later this year.