YouTube / Christian Albrecht
On September 4, 2021, the VMX-1 CH-53K detachment was conducting an initial operational test and evaluation when they received a call to assist with the recovery of an MH-60S Knighthawk.
The Knighthawk was in the middle of a search and rescue operation when it suffered a hard landing near Mt. Hogue, California, at an elevation of 12,000 Mean Sea Level.
The CH-53K was designed to lift up to 27,000 lbs of cargo, so it was the perfect vehicle to carry the 15,200-lb MH-60S. With the help of VMX-1, 1st Landing Support Battalion, and NAS Fallon Search and Rescue, the Knighthawk wreck was able to be transported over 23 nautical miles to the Bishop airport in California.
This two-day operation became known as the first official fleet mission for the CH-53K King Stallion.