#1392 KC-130J Hercules
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1392 - 166472, KC-130J Hercules, Marine Aerial Refeuler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. The mission of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 is to support the Marine Air Ground Task Force Commander by providing air-to-air refueling, assault support, and close air support, day or night under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint, or combined operations. Call sign â€œOTISâ€, it is the oldest continuously active squadron in the United States Marine Corps. Established on 1 June 1928, and originally designated Headquarters Detachment 7M in San Diego, California, it was re-designated several times over the next decade. The squadron received the designation Marine Utility Squadron 252 on 1 July 1941, and then Marine Transport Squadron 252 on 1 April 1945. It was present at Pearl Harbor at the onset of World War II and participated heavily in the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa campaigns. Following the war, it relocated to Cherry Point, North Carolina where it remains today. The KC-130 Hercules became the squadronâ€™s aircraft in October 1961 and the Marine Corps gained the capability of aerial refueling. On 1 February 1962, the squadron was designated Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 and subsequently saw extensive service during the Vietnam conflict. In June 1977, it was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group-14. In 1990, six squadron aircraft deployed in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM where they were involved in all aspects of operations. The remainder of the 1990s involved continued support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH and deployments for operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Kenya, Rwanda, Central Africa, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and search and rescue missions from Iceland. The cowardly attacks on September 11th, 2001, ushered in a new era of continuous operations for the squadron that endures today. In 2002, it sent elements to participate in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan and to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in 2003. The first deployment of the new KC-130J occurred when six VMGR-252 aircraft deployed in February 2005 to Al Asad, Iraq. This initiated the persistent Operation IRAQI FREEDOM deployment that continued until the withdrawal of US forces In January 2010. Extensive Hurricane Katrina relief missions were conducted in 2005, and August 2006 saw elements deployed to Cyprus due to the Lebanon-Israeli conflict. In 2008, aircraft again deployed to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, renewing the persistent presence in Afghanistan until the withdrawal of US Forces in 2014. This included the new KC-130J Harvest HAWK precision weapons delivering platform and the first operational multi-theater movement of MV-22s in 2011 from Kandahar to Crete in support of Operation ODYSSEY DAWN. In response to the Benghazi, Libya embassy attack of 2012, VMGR-252 was designated the critical requirement of the newly formed Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response that deployed to MorÃ³n Air Base, Spain. In December 2013, this response force deployed to Djibouti, with subsequent movements to Uganda for Operation OAKEN SONNET in response to the South Sudan crisis. This enduring VMGR-252 detachment grew to four aircraft in 2014 and the renamed Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Africa conducted operations in support of Operation OAKEN LOTUS in Libya and Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE in response to the West African Ebola outbreak. Throughout 2015, the detachment conducted extensive operations in western Africa, the Horn of Africa, Europe, and throughout the Mediterranean in support of Marine Corps and Joint Task Force â€œNew Normalâ€ operations, and VMGR-252 remains forward deployed to this day.