A KC-130J Hercules aircraft from Cherry Point’s Marine
Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 performed mid-air refueling
over the waters of the Atlantic in support of a training mission,
The VMGR-252 crew took off from the Cherry Point flight line in
the morning expecting to refuel five AV-8B Harriers from Marine
Attack Squadron 542. The five Harriers were slated to provide close
air support for the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic
during a ground combat training exercise.
However, as the morning progressed the Harriers were forced to
stay on the ground. The VMGR-252 crew, however, stayed in the air
practicing general in-flight procedures and in time received a
message over the radio informing them of two F/A-18D Hornet fighter
jets in the air in need of refueling. The Hornets, from Marine
All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 553 stationed out of Marine
Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., were in the area providing close
air support for the ground combat exercise.
After successfully refueling both jets, the KC-130J returned to
Cherry Point for post-flight maintenance. According to Cpl. Robert
W. Emerson, a crew chief on the flight, the mission was a
“We had planned to do more with the Harriers but it was
still a very successful flight,” Emerson said. “It just
so happens that the F/A-18s can do more in this type of weather.
This was a good opportunity for our new crewmembers to get some
proficiency training done.”
Sgt. Brandon P. Pratt, a loadmaster for the flight, said he
agrees it is important for VMGR-252 air crews to keep their mid-air
refueling skills sharp.
“If we didn’t provide mid-air refueling, these
aircrafts would not be able to stay in the air as long or even make
it to their destinations,” Pratt said. “These types of
missions are very necessary.” [ANN Salutes Lance Cpl.
Santiago G. Colon Jr., Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point]