MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 sent one
KC-130J Super Hercules to Moron, Spain, on a flight in support of deployed unit
VMGR-252 conducts monthly FISDUs, transporting necessary
parts and supplies to its detachment of four KC-130J Super Hercules currently
deployed to Moron Air Base supporting Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task
Force Crisis Response.
“We are somewhat unique compared to the other 2nd Marine
Aircraft Wing squadrons,” said Lt. Col. Scott Koltick, commanding officer of
VMGR-252. “We don’t deploy as a whole squadron; we deploy as detachments. And
because we deploy as detachments, we are not able to put our full amount of
resources out at any given location at any point in time.
“So the reason we need to conduct FISDUs is because I only
have four planes and 85 Marines in Moron right now. From time-to-time they need
to be supported with parts and supplies – typically it’s the big stuff like
engines and parts, things that we can’t ship through commercial means,”
On this FISDU, three
ready-for-issue KC-130J propellers, each weighing nearly 550 pounds with blades
spanning a diameter of 13.5 feet, were loaded into the cargo compartment of the
Super Hercules and transported to Moron Air Base.
According to Koltick, the detachment was very busy
supporting Operation Unified Assistance in Liberia this month and went through
some propellers that they are swapping out.
The deployed VMGR-252 aircrew and maintainers met the plane
upon arrival at Moron Air Base and immediately offloaded the three propellers.
Four damaged propellers were already staged and ready to take their place
inside the KC-130J to be transported back home for repair.
“We do not have the tools, equipment and expertise to
completely fix these four propellers here,” said Capt. Jenner Yuhas, a
maintenance officer with the detachment in Moron. “We also did not have any
more ready-for-issue propellers here to replace the ones that are damaged.
The detachment’s powerline section is only equipped to
perform lower-level maintenance to repair minor wear and tear on the propellers
to keep them serviceable.
According to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Steele, the
detachment’s maintenance management control officer, the Marines do a good job
of getting the most use out of the propeller assemblies before they must be
It is when parts
reach a non-operational state that the detachment relies on a FISDU to bring
out replacements. All four damaged propellers will be sent straight back to
VMGR-252 at Cherry Point to be repaired in the propeller shop, said Steele.
“We only have a certain number of collateral duty quality
assurance representatives in the squadron to do the repairs on the propellers …
and we usually don’t have the opportunity to deploy one because they are also
repairing all the propellers at Cherry Point,” explained Steele. “Every
propeller we install in our aircraft doesn’t come from the depot or new from
the factory, but are repaired solely by VMGR-252 Marines.”
Of the three propellers delivered, two were immediately hung
on separate aircraft and one was set aside as a spare for future use.
“So the FISDU gives us a lot of flexibility,” said Koltick.
“It means we don’t have to deploy a lot of material capability – in other
words, I don’t have to keep six spare engines and six spare propellers in Moron
– because I have the flexibility back here at Cherry Point. In about a day’s
notice we can launch a FISDU out to them, and that is what we did.”