Nella giornata di ieri, anche caratterizza dall'atterraggio del A319 di Stato, l'aeroporto di Verona Villafranca ha ricevuto una visita insolita, un KC-130J del Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, unità basata a Cherry Point, nel North Carolina.
Cliccando qui sarete reindirizzati al post sul nostro forum, dove sono visibili altre foto del trasporto militare, mentre su "leggi di più" sono disponibili informazioni supplementari sull'unità di appartenenza e sull'aereo (in inglese).
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) is a United States Marine Corps KC-130J squadron. They are a part of Marine Aircraft Group 14 (MAG-14), 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW) and provide both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aerial refueling capabilities to support Fleet Marine Force air operations in addition to assault air transport of personnel, equipment, and supplies. The squadron, known as "Otis" is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. It also has the distinction of being the oldest continually active squadron in the Marine Corps.
The Early years
The squadron was formed June 1, 1928, and designated Headquarters Detachment 7M in San Diego, California. The squadron was re-designated several times in the next decade. It received the designation Marine Utility Squadron 252 (VMJ-252) on July 1, 1941, and Marine Transport Squadron 252 (VMR-252) on April 1, 1945.
World War II
The squadron was heavily involved during World War II and participated in the following campaigns: Pearl Harbor, Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Following the war, the squadron relocated to MCAS Cherry Point and was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 21.
A VMR-252 R4Q-1 in 1950
Post World War II through the 1980s
In July 1946, VMR-252 was based at MCAS Miramar as part of Marine Aircraft Group 25. They remained there until October 14, 1946 when they were moved to MCAS El Toro. During October 1961, the KC-130 Hercules became the squadron's aircraft. With the introduction of the KC-130, the squadron's primary mission was changed to aerial refueling. On February 1, 1962, the Squadron received its present designation as Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252). In December 1965, the KC-130 was used to refuel the CH-3 helicopter. This was the first time that a tanker drogue system was used to refuel a helicopter.
The late sixties and early seventies found VMGR-252 actively supporting U.S. Forces in the Republic of Vietnam, transporting essential equipment, parts, and personnel. VMGR-252 also supported the introduction of the AV-8A Harrier. In August 1973, VMGR-252 was involved in the development of safe and standardized aerial refueling procedures to be used with the Harrier.
The Gulf War & the 1990s
In December 1988, VMGR-252 achieved another milestone in when it surpassed 300,000 accident free flight hours and won the distinction of achieving the most accident-free flight hours of any squadron in the Marine Corps and Navy.
The decade of the nineties started in earnest with VMGR-252 deploying aircraft to Freetown, Sierra Leone in support of 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit operations following civil unrest in nearby Liberia. In addition, the first night-vision-goggle landing in a Marine Corps KC-130 was accomplished in May 1990.
With little down time the squadron found itself facing an even greater challenge with the mobilization of forces for Operation Desert Shield. Six squadron aircraft were deployed to form VMGR-252 Detachment Alpha. When Operation Desert Storm commenced on January 16, 1991, the detachment transitioned to combat operations and provided over 10 million pounds of fuel to strike aircraft during the course of 937 combat sorties.
During the remainder of the 1990s, the squadron continued to support East Coast Marine Expeditionary Unit's for operations in Kenya, Rwanda, the Republic of the Congo, Albania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Kosovo. They also continued support for taskings Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch.
The Global War on Terror
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, VMGR-252 formed the backbone of logistical and assault support operations during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and provided similar support for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the spring of 2003. Approximately 30% of the squadron has been continuously deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since 2003.
December 2002 marked a milestone in the history of VMGR-252 with the acceptance of three KC-130 J-model aircraft.
The KC-130J offers a 60,000 pound fuel capacity that it can allocate between its own flight requirements against aerial refueling offload capacity using its wing and external tanks while in the air. When more fuel is needed, an additional 24,392 pounds of fuel can be offloaded from a specially configured internal fuselage 3,600-gallon aluminum fuel tank. The system also functions without the fuselage tank, so the cargo compartment can be used for cargo on the same mission, giving the aircraft even greater flexibility.
The aircraft is ready to fuel fixed-wing, tilt-rotor, or rotary-wing aircraft using the standard probe and drogue technique. The two wing-mounted hose and drogue refueling pods (made by Sargent Fletcher) can each transfer up to 300 gallons per minute to two aircraft simultaneously allowing for rapid cycle times of multiple-receiver aircraft formations (a typical tanker formation of four aircraft in less than 30 minutes).
The KC-130J also provides for rapid ground refueling of helicopters, vehicles and fuel caches. The aircraft has a unique propeller feathering feature (known as “hotel mode”) which can slow (at 25% rotation speed) the propellers while the turbines continue to run and energize the generator, providing power to the electric fuel pumps. This reduction of the propellers' speed helps to eliminate prop wash behind the KC-130J. This allows ground forces to operate in relative calm while the aircraft offloads up to 600 gallons (4,018 pounds) per minute.
The U.S. Marine Corps has chosen the KC-130J to replace its aging KC-130 legacy tanker fleet. The new KC-130J offers increased utility and much needed improvement in mission performance. As a force multiplier, the J-model tanker is capable of refueling both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft as well as conducting rapid ground refueling. The refueling speed envelope has been widened from 100 to 270 knots (500 km/h) indicated airspeed, offering more capability and flexibility. Offload rates per refueling pod can be up to 300 gallons per minute simultaneously. The KC-130's offload is significantly greater than previous Hercules tankers. As an example, at 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km), the fuel offload is well over 45,000 pounds (20,412 kg).