Monday, June 28, 2010

Super Lifter

A CH-53E Super Stallion flies overhead carrying an AW-101 Merlin from a forward operating base June 26. This early-morning operation to recover the Merlin is a prime example of the joint operations now taking place between the United States and the United Kingdom in the region. The Super Stallion is with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, "Bigfoot," which is a Marine Corps helicopter squadron under 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) here. The Merlin belongs to the U.K.'s Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) which is also currently operating under 3rd MAW(FWD) after the Joint Aviation Group joined the Wing June 1. The operation was also a testament to the work these "heavy haulers," have been performing in support of the Afghanistan national security forces and NATO forces in southern Afghanistan as they tote heavy cargo and troops across the area, under heavy enemy fire, on a daily basis. Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Steven Williams