USMC Tail-to-tail Transfer of Supplies


U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 transfer supplies from a KC-130J Hercules into a CH-53K King Stallion assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, June 7, 2023.

The tail-to-tail transfer of supplies allowed distribution of sustainment in the minimum time period of vulnerability by reducing break-bulk requirements.

U.S. Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) experimented with dynamic, assault-support capabilities in a distributed-aviation environment.

VMGR-252 and HMH-461 are subordinate units of 2nd MAW, the aviation combat element of II Marine Expeditionary Force.

(U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Christopher Hernandez)

This approach is facilitated by the new Kilo helicopter.

The CH-53K‘s intermodal cargo system allows transfer of Air Mobility Command 463L pallets directly from fixed-wing transport aircraft (without the need for reconfiguration to wooden warehouse pallets) and lock them in place with an internal pallet locking system eliminating the need for the crisscrossing of cargo straps, significantly enhancing the speed of internal cargo operations and in-theater cargo throughput.