CH-53K Comes to MAWTS-1: March 2023


U.S. Marine CH-53K King Stallion helicopter and CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1), and Royal Air Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter participate in an external lift training exercise during Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 2-23 at Auxiliary Airfield II near Yuma, Arizona on March 28, 2023.

During the exercise, the CH-53K King Stallion aircraft performed its heaviest external lift with a total load weight of 36,000 pounds.

According to the CO of MAWTS-1, Col Purcell: ‘We have a 4-plane detachment of CH-53Ks supporting the WTI course.  They are not producing a WTI student, but are flying in all events using their own WTIs IOT gather data on requirements to support a 4-plane detachment, familiarize other WTI students with 53K capabilities, and increase overall proficiency of the pilots in their ready room.”

WTI is a seven-week training event hosted by MAWTS-1, providing standardized advanced tactical training and certification, of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation training and readiness, and assist in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. YUMA, AZ,


Video by Cpl. Jaye Townsend

Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1

For an update on the CH-53K coming to the fleet, see the following:

The CH-53K and USMC Transformation: Preparing for Entry into Service