By Cpl. Carlos Cruz Jr., Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan
IWAKUNI, Japan — Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 conducted air-delivery ground refueling training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Aug. 21, 2015.
During the training Marines refueled four MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircrafts with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 using one of VMGR-152’s KC-130J Super Hercules.
“The point of air-delivery ground refueling is to provide fuel to vehicles in an austere location that might not otherwise have it,” said Staff Sgt. David Hoyt, a KC-130J loadmaster with VMGR-152. “Gas is the life blood of any mobile operation, so to resupply somebody on the move is a pretty critical asset.”
To achieve the global reach and rapid deployability our nation requires, Marine aviation must be able to deliver Marines, fuel and cargo where needed.
The KC-130J has the ability to land in a variety of environments and terrains, places where an air field or fuel truck isn’t readily available. They can aditionally carry more than 12,000 gallons of fuel and simultaneously refuel two aircraft at 300 gallons a minute.
This training was a first for many of the Marines participating.
“I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know before and now I not only know how to do it, but I can do it proficiently,” said Cpl. Greg Gambrell, a KC-130J crewmaster with VMGR-152. “The training helps you think on the fly. You never know what can go wrong and this helps you prepare for those kinds of situations.”
Timeliness is one of the most important factors in this type of operation. According to Hoyt, a well-experienced crew could have a refueling site set up in five to ten minutes and torn down in less than 20 minutes.
“It’s important to train for things like this so that should we have to perform this in a real world environment, we could execute it proficiently,” said Hoyt. “It’s a tactical ability of the KC-130 so we need to be proficient at it.”
As the Marines continue to train, they will be able to perform this type of refueling operation quicker and more efficiently, adhering to the Marine Corps’ mission to be able to quickly respond to global conflicts.