OKINAWA, Japan --- On 25 February, the First Marine Aircraft Wing achieved a significant milestone by taking receipt of the first CH-53E that completed H-53 Reset in the Western Pacific area of responsibility. The aircraft underwent a combined Planned Maintenance Interval (PMI) and H-53 Reset event at Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific.
Maintenance was performed at Korean Air Lines, Busan, South Korea. Combining the CH-53E PMI and reset events greatly reduces the amount of time a CH-53E spends out of service allowing the aircraft to be available for operational commitments.
"The Reset Program's goal is to provide long-term health to the CH-53E community," said Lt. Col. Christopher P. Roy, commanding officer of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 (HMH-465), under the Unit Deployment Program with Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st MAW. "Reset aircraft have proven to be more reliable with higher mission capable rates than non-Reset aircraft."
Aircraft completing H-53 Reset achieve a healthy condition, are easier to maintain, and provide far greater monthly flight hour generating capacity than they did prior to reset. This allows the U.S. Marine Corps to fulfil its obligation of the defense of Japan under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.
"The increase in Reset aircraft readiness has also come with a drastic reduction in maintenance hours per flight hour," said Roy. "With the addition of the Reset Program to Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific, and in conjunction with Planned Maintenance Interval, 1st MAW has increased its ability to produce CH-53E readiness and built efficiencies to increase CH-53E availability."
Planned Maintenance Interval is an in-depth maintenance practice that accomplishes preventative, corrective, and investigative maintenance at all levels and provides support of the total aircraft service life commensurate with safety and economic considerations.
CH-53E PMI is required every 900-1,600 flight hours (or 10 years; whichever occurs first). H-53 Reset is a comprehensive maintenance process which is designed to improve aircraft material condition and facilitates CH-53E readiness.