MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Getting ready to
battle the cold in Norway, Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464
prepared for Operation Cold Response 2016 by loading CH-53E Super Stallions
into a massive C-5 Galaxy at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Feb. 3.
disassembled aircraft onto the C-5, the Marines closely monitored the giant
heavy-lift helicopters to ensure they remained undamaged, as they were
delicately maneuvered inside the aircraft.
“One of the
struggles when loading these aircraft would include putting an already large
aircraft into a slightly larger aircraft,” said Cpl. Dennis L. Tice Jr., a CH-53E
helicopter mechanic with HMH-464. “It is almost like playing a game of
operation,” said Tice, referring to a once-popular child’s game penalized
players if they were careless in removing parts from small confined spaces.
For some of the
Marines, this was their first time loading a CH-53E into another aircraft.
“It is something
that is not done very often,” said Sgt. Kevin T. Peters, a crew chief with
HMH-464. “It’s a rare occurrence, but doing it creates leaders for the next
Marines that need to load an aircraft by giving them the knowledge and experience
on how to properly load the CH-53E onto a C-5.”
After the aircraft were
loaded, the Marines departed on their flight to Norway to begin training.
Up to 2,000 Marines
and 15,000 military personnel from 14 nations will attend the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization-level exercise.
The key purpose of
Cold Response is to train and educate participants on how to conduct joint combat
operations in a cold-weather environment.
“After landing, we
will off-load the aircraft and build up our training area,” said Peters. “When everything
is put into place, we will begin conducting Operation Cold Response.”