Arid, scorching air sits heavy over the mountains. Quickly, the autumn winds will sweep the lands to thrust back the warmth, however earlier than they’ll, the chop of helicopter rotor blades might be heard via the valleys. Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 has been right here earlier than, however by no means with the newest innovation in Marine Corps aviation: the CH-53K King Stallion. That is the primary fleet train the Marine Corps’ King Stallion deployed to conduct, marking a step ahead for the Marine Corps. With 3 times the carry functionality of its predecessor, the CH-53K is the brand new heavy-lift resolution for the naval power.

“Routinely coaching with an LAV for an exterior load, to me, is absolute thoughts boggling. It’s obtained energy for days; you are able to do something you need,” mentioned Employees Sgt. Dakota Schneider, a crew chief teacher with Marine Aviation Weapons and Techniques Squadron 1.


“The CH-53K is extra highly effective, safer and an easier-to-maintain helicopter. That’ll enable every wing commander extra capability to maintain the Marine Air-Floor Activity Power in an austere atmosphere,” Lt. Col. Adam Horne, HMH-461 commanding officer mentioned.

Mountain House, Idaho, was chosen as the primary deployment for coaching for the King Stallion as a result of it offered a brand new local weather and terrain options distinct from North Carolina, HMH-461’s residence state. The CH-53K can fly at larger altitudes, for longer distances and in hotter situations than the CH-53E. HMH-461 used these qualities at Mountain House to help in future CH-53K manufacturing and employment. The Marine Corps continues its lengthy legacy of innovation with this check of the CH-53K King Stallion. The teachings realized by HMH-461 throughout the deployment for coaching help the Marine Corps’ modernization efforts.

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion (Sikorsky S-95) is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter designed and produced by Sikorsky Plane. The King Stallion is an evolution of the lengthy operating CH-53 sequence of helicopters which have been in steady service since 1966, and options three uprated 7,500 shp (5,590 kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider plane cabin than its predecessors. It’s the largest and heaviest helicopter within the U.S. army. America Marine Corps plans to obtain 200 helicopters at a complete value of $25 billion. Israel has additionally reportedly ordered the sort; different potential export prospects embrace Japan and Germany.

U.S. Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 carry a cargo container with a CH-53K King Stallion at Mountain House Air Power Base, Idaho, Aug. 11, 2022. This was the primary time the Marine Corps deployed the King Stallion in an train. HMH-461 is a subordinate unit of 2nd Marine Plane Wing, the aviation fight aspect of II Marine Expeditionary Power. (U.S. Marine Corps picture by Cpl. Adam Henke)