Last Operational CH-46E Squadron Becomes MV-22B Unit

Four US Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knights perform a final air show appearance during a Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration on October 5 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. The helicopters are from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (HMM-364) ‘Purple Foxes’, which was re-designated four days later as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364 (VMM-364) as part of its transition to the MV-22B Osprey. The lead CH-46E in this photograph, 153369 ‘PF-19’, wears a retro colour scheme, while the two at the rear still carry the markings of their previous unit, HMMT-164. US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl Trever Statz

A REDESIGNATION ceremony for the final operational US Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight unit has been held to mark its transition to the MV-22B Osprey. Held at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, the event on October 9 saw Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (HMM-364) ‘Purple Foxes’ become Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364 (VMM-364) and also included a change of command ceremony. Lt Col John Field, outgoing commanding officer of HMM-364, relinquished command to Col Paul B Kopacz, who will lead VMM-364.

As previously reported on AFD, HMM-364 had been winding down CH-46E operations for some months as it prepares for introduction of the MV-22B and flew a final mass formation sorties on March 31 with eleven Sea Knights. The unit had been operating the type for 47 years.

Known disposals of HMM-364 CH-46Es this year have included five deliveries to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, for storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) facility. Two, 155309 ‘PF-02’ and 156472 ‘PF-01’, arrived at AMARG on April 22, followed by 156426 on May 22 and then 156438 and 157706 both on July 22.