MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C., July 13, 2006 – Marine Aerial Refueler and Transport Squadron 252, the squadron that performed the first in-flight helicopter refueling more than 30 years ago, continues to play integral roles in air combat innovation and military operations throughout the world.
As Lt. Col. David A. Krebs took the reigns of Marine Aerial Refueler and Transport Squadron 252 June 30, he spoke enthusiastically about the opportunity to assume command of a squadron that is flexible enough to be deployed and stretched thin.
The squadron recently participated in the first transatlantic MV-22 Osprey flight.
Meanwhile, approximately 25 percent of the squadron is deployed to Iraq, and the maintenance department is busy transitioning Marines to the newest model of the Hercules.
Ideally, no squadron would be tasked with all of these different types of missions simultaneously, said Krebs, but “the Wing has to operate, and Marine Aerial Refueler and Transport Squadron 252 is kind of the behind-the-scenes support on just about everything that's going on in the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.”
The squadron’s far-reaching involvement is due to its presence as the only aerial refueling and transport squadron in 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, he explained.
Saturday, the squadron played a crucial role in the transatlantic Osprey flight, which tested the reliability of the Marine Corps' tilt-wing aircraft.
One KC-130J from Marine Aerial Refueler and Transport Squadron 252 provided one Osprey, from Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., with in-flight refueling during a nine-hour flight from Goose Bay, Canada, to Farnborough, England.
In England, the Osprey is supporting the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough Air Show.
Krebs called the sortie a milestone for Marine Corps aviation. The MV-22, an aircraft intended to replace the CH-46 and CH-53, will potentially streamline Marine Corps aviation by filling the role of a twin turboprop aircraft and a vertical take off and landing aircraft.
The transatlantic flight brings the Marine Corps closer to incorporating the Osprey into real world operations, said Krebs.
Other views of the squadron's flexibility are visible in changes in training requirements within the KC-130 community.