Featured Articles

Marines Deploy Transport Helicopters to Hilo

May 24, 2018, 10:40 AM HST
* Updated May 24, 5:20 PM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...

By Sgt. Seth Starr – DVIDS.net, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60722479

The U.S. Marine Corps on May 24, 2018, has deployed two large transport helicopters to Hilo in support of Joint Task Force 5-0, the joint military force assisting Hawai‘i County with the current Kīlauea eruption.

The helicopters will provide 24/7 coverage in the event that a quick evacuation of residents in lower Puna is required. The two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and their respective air crews from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) are a welcome addition to JTF-50’s Aviation Task Force.

Major Jeff Hickman from the Hawai‘i National Guard talks to the media on May 24, 2018.

Each CH-53E can carry more than 50 passengers at a time.

“The additional helicopter support from USPACOM and MARFORPAC provides the County of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i’s Joint Task Force-50 tremendous capability,” said JTF 5-0 commander, Brig. Gen. Kenneth Hara. “We now have the capacity to evacuate all of the estimated population of lower Puna south of the lava flow within a few hours.”

The Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i-based Super Stallions, with an internal lifting capability of 30,000 pounds, are uniquely qualified for this heavy lift mission.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments