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USMC CH-53E marks first transport of JLTV to ship and back to shore

A US Marine CH-53E Super Stallion carries a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) in the Philippine Sea. (Lance Cpl. Christopher England)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) used a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter to transport a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to a ship and back to shore for the first time.

Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit logistics combat element and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, along with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced), transported the JLTV from a beach at a training area in Okinawa, Japan, approximately 13 n miles, to USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5). The CH-53E performed two lifts at the beach landing zone and two lifts aboard Miguel Keith before transporting the vehicle back to the beach, Captain Pawel Puczko, director of communication strategy at the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, told Janes via email.

“The CH-53 and Helicopter Support Team provide a pretty unique capability to get those systems to otherwise inaccessible locations,” said Captain Tyler Hopping, CH-53E pilot with VMM-262 (reinforced), in a statement.

The demonstration was part of the USMC's Expeditionary Advanced Base Operation (EABO) training. The EABO concept is meant to address challenges the corps might face in the region, such as small teams quickly setting up operations on remote islands, as marines shift their attention towards China.

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