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US Marine Aviation

I forwarded to retired Marine Aviation General Michael Sullivan a report on US Marine aviation refueling in the Philippines sent to me by Bienvenido Macario. Mike comments:

"I have many fond memories of the Philippines flying in and out of NAS Cubi Point, Clark AFB and Basa PAFB for four tours. It's a beautiful country, with the people being basically very kind and gentle. The Marines have two Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU), 15th and 26th, deployed in the Arabian Sea an each has 2200 Marines. They each have an infantry battalion with artillery, tanks etc, an air combat unit consisting of 20 helicopters and six AV8 Hariers, a logistical support unit and all are designated"special operations capable" due to their special training. The KC-130 tankers stay behind at their normal base until needed and then they join the MEUs and operate from a friendly airfield. They provide the air refueling for the Harriers and the CH-53 Super Stallions. The CH-53 is the largest transport helicopter, capable of lifting 32,000 lbs. The KC-130 can also land at a forward operating base, like a secured airfield in Afghanistan, and refuel helicopters on the ground by using hoses coming from the giant fuel tank in the cargo compartment of the KC-130. K stands for "tanker" and all 60 Marine 130s are KC-130s. So far the Harriers have been used in air strikes as well as the Marine F-18 squadron aboard Roosevelt. Also the MEU has used several helos in rescue and support missions to date. It appears they are getting ready to launch both MEUs ashore in support of the the 500-600 Special Forces. Most folks don't realize this but the Marine aviation forces consisting of three active duty Wings and one Reserve Wing is the 10th largest Air Force in the world and we're much smaller than the USAF, the US Navy and the US Army! "

My Comment: Powerful stuff! Should be able to fly right into bin Laden's cave and put the kaibosh on him. (Not in the dictionary. I must consult the OED to find its origin. Or is it "kaibosch"?)

Ronald Hilton - 11/21/01