Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24), a U.S. Marine Corps aviation unit based at Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay, conducts a mass air training mission.
Utilizing three separate flying platforms, MAG-24 successfully launched seven CH-53E Super Stallions, seven MV-22B Ospreys, and two UH-1Y Venoms, conducting the mass air mission to increase proficiency through integrated training to produce readiness and project power, a Marine Corps news release states.
Training events and combat operations aren’t much different. Both require a massive “behind-the-scenes” effort that includes command and control, maintenance, logistics and training.
The mass launch is not just for show, the majority of these aircraft go out and conduct tactical training after their launch.
The MV-22B Osprey and CH-53E Super Stallion are the two platforms that comprise MAG-24. The MV-22B Osprey was first procured in 1999 and has been a cornerstone of the MAGTF ever since. What makes this aircraft unique is its ability to combine the vertical flight capabilities of helicopters with the speed, range and endurance of fixed-wing transports. Weighing 35,000 pounds, the Osprey is capable of carrying more than 20 Marines more than 400 nautical miles at a cruise speed of 266 knots. The superb capabilities of the MV-22 translate into a faster MAGTF response in times of crisis. Those capabilities are put into practice around the world every day by MAG-24.
The other aircraft in MAG-24’s arsenal is the CH-53E Super Stallion. The Super Stallion is the only heavy lift helicopter in the DoD rotorcraft inventory. Weighing 37,500 pounds, the Super Stallion can carry more than 30 Marines or over 32,000 pounds of cargo more than 110 nautical miles. The heavy lift capabilities of the Super Stallion are crucial to supporting the six different types of assault support operations ranging from combat assault support to air evacuation.