Photo Information

A KC-130 assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 153 (VMGR-153), Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, takes off during a forward arming and refueling point exercise (FARP) as part of Force Design Integration Exercise (FDIE) at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Sept. 27, 2023. A FARP is used to extend the capabilities of rotary or fixed-wing aircraft to allow rearming and refueling without having to fall back to a forward operating base. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Logan Beeney)

Photo by Cpl. Logan Beeney

Hawaii’s KC-130s Reach Initial Operational Capability

6 Feb 2024 | 1stLt. Hannah Venables 1st Marine Aircraft Wing

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION KANEOHE BAY – A year after their arrival in Hawaii, Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron (VMGR) 153 reached and declared Initial Operation Capability (IOC) on Feb. 6, 2024.

VMGR-153 activated as a squadron on Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Jan. 13, 2023. Over the past year, the squadron has supported a wide range of missions including air-to-air refueling, aviation-delivered ground refueling, the transport of personnel and equipment, aerial delivery of personnel and cargo, and close air support. The squadron has also focused on forging vital community relationships, to include providing disaster relief logistical transport following the Maui wildfires and supporting Toys for Tots in both Maui and Alaska.

The declaration of IOC is a milestone that marks the efforts of the Marines assigned to VMGR-153 through their completion of their Safe for Flight inspection and acceptance of six KC-130J aircraft.

“The squadron has grown both in size and capability over the last year,” said LtCol. Andrew Myers, the commanding officer of VMGR-153. “We have achieved major milestones that allow us to conduct flight operations around the globe. We are now transitioning from squadron activation to sustained operations in the Pacific. Our squadron and Marines have worked tirelessly this year and are setting a new standard that other units are trying to emulate. It is truly awe inspiring,” Myers added.

VMGR-153’s newly established foothold in the Indo-Pacific serves as a testament to their ability to accomplish their assigned mission and support Force Design. These achievements set the foundation for the squadron to increase operations across the Pacific.

As the squadron continues to build up capacity, they look towards their next milestone of Full Operational Capability. For more information about VMGR-153 please contact Marine Aircraft Group 24 Communication Strategy and Operations,