The US Marines’ four CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft have recently completed an extensive maintenance process, called RESET.
The maintenance process allows additional aircraft to return to the fleet.
The RESET period re-baselines all squadron-level inspections and replaces high time components. The process delivers a leak-free, full mission capable (FMC) aircraft with no maintenance discrepancies to the warfighter.
Once a vehicle undergoes the RESET process, there is a decrease in maintenance man hours per flight hour, a reduction in cost per flight hour, and a more efficient state of readiness.
CH-53 Heavy Lift Programme Office in-service lead Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Baumann said: “The CH-53E has seen more work than was ever anticipated it would see.
“In fact, the aircraft reached a major milestone last year by logging more than one million flight hours since it first entered service with the Marine Corps in 1981.”
For over 30 years, the CH-53E helicopter has been used for lifting heavy cargo and Marine aircraft, except KC-130. There are 142 CH-53E Super Stallions in service.
Currently, 14 CH-53E aircraft are undergoing RESET process at five different sites across the world, and 35% of the fleet aircraft have been inducted into the RESET process.
Two Super Stallions were recently the 34th and 35th aircraft to undergo complete RESET.
Last month they were delivered to US Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California and US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, respectively.
RESET is essential to sustain the fleet until the transition to the new heavy lift helicopter, the CH-53K King Stallion. The King Stallion helicopter is scheduled to replace the CH-53E aircraft between the 2023-24 timeframe.
Employees conducting RESET use personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow distancing requirements as issued by the government.
H-53 RESET/modification integrated product team lead Ron Dominiecki said: “On-aircraft maintenance, inspections, repairs, ground turns and functional check flights were conducted safely while wearing required PPE and maintaining social distancing as much as possible in the close confines of working on an aircraft.”