An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Oct. 27, 2017

Sumos Conduct Aerial Refueling Training with Thunderbolts, Green Knights

By Lance Cpl. Stephen Campbell Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152 flew KC-130J Hercules aircraft to conduct nighttime aerial refueling training operations with the F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 and F/A-18C Hornets with VMFA-251 Oct. 25-26, 2017.

The training was conducted at night to improve operational readiness and enhance pilot proficiency.

“Every 180 days the squadrons should have completed at least five successful movement-to-contact scenarios with tankers to stay proficient,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Brian “Nemo” Miller, a KC-130 pilot and aircraft commander with VMGR-152. “This training exercises our systems so that we know our aerial refueling pods, our refueling system and their air refueling systems are all working.”

The mission of VMGR-152, or the Sumos, is to support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force by providing aerial refueling and assault support, day or night under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint or combined operations in the region.

The unit is also capable of aerial deliveries, assault landing zone operations and battlefield illumination.

Miller said that even though daytime aerial refueling is easy, nighttime AR can be difficult due to night vision and possible disorientation.

“We practice this because if we’re conducting a real-world scenario, it’s not always going to be during the day. It could be in inclement weather at night,” said Miller.

F-35 and F/A-18 pilots perform AR to remain tactically proficient during long range missions. Once refueling is complete the pilots can continue executing their mission at hand.

The pilots are always concerned with fuel because their aircraft doesn’t store enough for longer missions. Without a KC-130J providing support, pilots potentially face running out of fuel during a mission.

“Anytime we train, it keeps the proficiency of the squadron up,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Olivia Raftshol, a KC-130J co-pilot with VMGR-152. “The training shows that we can meet and refuel aircraft at any given time and location to keep them in the air longer. It’s pretty straight forward for us because we do a lot of AR so it’s just another day in the life of a KC-130J pilot.”

Overall, the units were able to coordinate the mission, launch on time and execute with a 100 percent success rate.

“If we ever get the call to head north, south, east or west from here, we know we’ve got tanker and fighter assets that are trained, capable and proficient to provide them with fuel when they need it,” said Miller. “And for them to continue doing whatever it is they’re tasked to complete.”
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Koa Moana 24: U.S. Marines and Sailors Support Humanitarian Aid Efforts in Chuuk
U.S. Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 13, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, provide humanitarian disaster relief preparation by offloading approximately one thousand bags of rice and three thousand cases of water to Federal States of Micronesia outer island of Chuuk during exercise Koa Moana 24 in the Chuuk Lagoon, July 5-9, 2024. During Koa Moana’s deployment throughout the Indo-Pacific region, U.S. Marines and Sailors from I Marine Expeditionary Force work to strengthen alliances and partnerships with development of interoperable capabilities, combined operations, theater security cooperation, and capacity-building efforts. Exercises like Koa Moana administer 1st MLG to tackle complex challenges by fostering collaboration among bold thinkers and employing creative methods to optimize prepositioning, enhance sustainment and distribution networks, and bolster readiness in distributed environments such as Palau, the Federal States of Micronesia, and Papua New Guinea. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Sean Arnold)
July 22, 2024 - In a demonstration of solidarity and resilience, U.S. Marines and Sailors from Koa Moana 24 have been instrumental in helping deliver humanitarian aid support across the archipelago of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia...

U.S. Navy Conducts Successful Live-Fire Demonstration at RIMPAC 2024
240712-N-N2201-001 (July 12, 2024) A Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), heads out to sea for the Poniard launching test from ROKS Cheon Ja Bong as part of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), 12 July. This innovative capability test demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to integrating mature cutting-edge technology into its operations to maintain maritime superiority and readiness.
July 22, 2024 - The U.S. Navy achieved a significant milestone at the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024 exercise with the successful launching and testing of Poniard rockets from a Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV). The 12 July test is...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Guam Liberation Day 
Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Guam July 18-20, where he met with senior government officials and U.S. service members to reiterate USINDOPACOM’s priority of defending the homeland and to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the island. As a part of the homeland, Guam serves as a strategic U.S. outpost in the Western Pacific.
July 21, 2024 - Tumon, GUAM — Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Guam July 18-20, where he met with senior government officials and U.S. service members to reiterate USINDOPACOM’s priority of defending the...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands  
From left, Saipan Gov. Arnold I. Placios, Rear Adm. Greg Huffman, commander, Joint Task Force – Micronesia, Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Lt. Gov. David M. Apata take a photo during USINDOPACOM’s visit to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands on July 20, 2024. Paparo was joined by Huffman, Rear Adm. Brent DeVore, commander, Joint Region Marianas, and Fleet Master Chief David Isom, USINDOPACOM command senior enlisted leader, emphasizing personal relationships and the enduring obligations to the people of CNMI, which is part of the U.S. homeland and under U.S. legal and defense protections. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression and, when necessary, fighting to win. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith)
July 21, 2024 - SAIPAN, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands — Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Saipan and Tinian in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands on July 20, 2024, where he met with...

U.S. Joint Forces Strengthen Capabilities and Partnerships in Palau During Valiant Shield 24
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Stephanie Davis, a communication strategy and operations officer with I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) helps a child try on a Kevlar helmet during a military equipment exposition as part of exercise Valiant Shield 24 at Palau International Airport, Airai, Palau, June 13, 2024. U.S. joint forces conducting exercise Valiant Shield 24 held a military equipment exposition to offer insight into military operations and build relationships with the Palauan community. I Marine Expeditionary Force conducts exercises like Valiant Shield to enhance interoperability with allied

and partner forces and expand the operational capability of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Hannah Hollerud)
July 20, 2024 - Joint forces with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, allies and partners concluded the tenth iteration of exercise Valiant Shield, June 18, 2024, following 12 days of multilateral operations in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern...