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US Marine squadron officially transitions to CH-53K King Stallion.

| 2022

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 held a re-designation ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan 24. The ceremony marked HMH-461’s transition from a CH-53E Super Stallion to the Marine Corps’ first fleet CH-53K King Stallion squadron.

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US Marine squadron officially transitions to CH 53K King Stallion 01 A CH-53K King Stallion (right) and a CH-53E Super Stallion are staged during a redesignation ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Jan. 24, 2022. The squadron received its first CH-53K King Stallion, and the ceremony signified the beginning of the Marine Corps’ modernization from the CH-53E Super Stallion to the CH-53K King Stallion in support of the expeditionary warfare vision for future-force employment. The CH-53K is an optimized vertical, heavy-lift, sea-based, long-range solution for the Marine Corps and will provide three times the lift capability of its predecessor (Picture source: U.S. Marine Corps)

Maj. Gen. Michael Cederholm, commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, described the significance of HMH-461’s transition to a CH-53K squadron.

“Today our Marine Corps got a little stronger. It is only appropriate that 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and in particular Marine Corps Air Station New River, would be the first to receive the newest land and sea-based heavy helicopter because this is the home of the Marine Corps’ assault support. Placing the CH-53K King Stallion into the hands of our warfighters will ensure we capitalize on the unique qualities and characteristics of the 53K, and will allow 2nd MAW to continue to provide the best aviation support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force right now, and well into our future.

“Quite simply, 2nd MAW will be able to move more troops and equipment, at higher altitudes, faster speeds, and in more austere environments than ever before. We continue to become a more modernized and lethal force so, when the time comes, we will deliver on II Marine Expeditionary Force’s motto: ‘Come to Fight - Come to Win.’ I am so proud of the Marines and Sailors of 2nd MAW, and find it appropriate that they are a part of this moment in Marine Corps aviation history.”

The CH-53K will allow the quick massing of combat power, agile maneuver, resilient logistics and predictive maintenance, and be used in the Marine Corps’ execution of expeditionary advanced based operations, a key component of the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ force design.

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