Aviation Support Element, Kaneohe (ASEK)
In the early 2000s, the Aviation Support Element, Kaneohe (ASEK) was deactivated and Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) was reactivated in its place.
The mission of the Aviation Support Element, Kaneohe (ASEK) was to provide combat ready helicopter squadrons in support of 3rd Marine Regiment and the Unit Deployment Program while being prepared to provide assault support squadrons for world-wide sourcing. In addition, initial training was provided to all CH-53D replacement aircrews. ASEK provided initial, conversion, and transition training to all CH-53 aircrews, and provided IMA and supply support to Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, US Pacific Fleet. Aviation Support Element, Kaneohe (ASEK), an element of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing located in Okinawa, Japan, was a unique organization within the United States Marine Corps. Holding the entire USMC inventory of active CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters provides unique opportunities in maintaining and operating them.
The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Aviation Support Element Kaneohe (ASEK) was formed on 1 October 1994 following the deactivation of Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24), thus beginning a new era in Marine aviation aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. MCBH Kaneohe Bay became home for the entire community of US Marine Corps CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters.
ASEK consisted of a headquarters, 4 CH-53D fleet (HMH) squadrons, one CH-53D fleet training (HMT) squadron, and the Marine Aviation Logistics Support Element Kaneohe (MALSEK). The 4 deployable Fleet Marine Force Assault Support Squadrons included Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362 "Ugly Angels", Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 "Red Lions", Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 "Hammerheads", and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 "Pegasus". Additionally, the "Windwalkers" of Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301 provided replacement aircrew training. There were a total of 46 CH-53D aircraft assigned to ASEK. MALSEK was the largest unit and provided material and intermediate level maintenance to the flying squadrons. ASEK was commanded by a US Marine Corps Colonel and consisted of approximately 800 Enlisted Marines and 100 Officers.
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