Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Joseph McDonnell, a crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, lowers a package to the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) during a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) in the Philippine Sea, May 9, 2023. Vertical replenishments enable naval vessels to quickly receive critical resources without disrupting maritime security operations while underway. III MEF is postured to enable naval expeditionary operations within the first island chain as part of a Stand-in-Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Emily Weiss)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Emily Weiss

U.S. Marines Resupply Ballistic Missile Submarine in Philippine Sea

17 May 2023 | Capt. Joshua Hays 1st Marine Aircraft Wing

U.S. Marines from 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, provided a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) operation for a U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine in the Philippine Sea, last week.

Two U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallions from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462, 1st MAW, carried mission-essential equipment to the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) during its regularly scheduled patrol. Vertical replenishments enable naval vessels to quickly receive critical resources without disrupting maritime security operations while underway.

“1st MAW’s persistent and forward presence makes it the backbone of the Stand-in-Force’s expeditionary capability,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Christopher Murray, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group – 36, 1st MAW, in Okinawa, Japan. “The intricacies of seamlessly sustaining the force through naval integration and aviation-delivered logistics is a testament to our adaptability, readiness, and ability to project power within the Indo-Pacific.”


III MEF resupplies SSBN in Philippine Sea Photo by Lance Cpl. Emily Weiss
U.S. Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, complete a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) with the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) in the Philippine Sea, May 9, 2023. Vertical replenishments enable naval vessels to quickly receive critical resources without disrupting maritime security operations while underway. III MEF is postured to enable naval expeditionary operations within the first island chain as part of a Stand-in-Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Emily Weiss

"The intricacies of seamlessly sustaining the force through naval integration and aviation-delivered logistics is a testament to our adaptability, readiness, and ability to project power within the Indo-Pacific.” Col. Christopher Murray, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group – 36, 1st MAW


The mission underscores the important role of the U.S. Marine Corps as part of a Stand-in-Force. The Marine Corps employs the SiF concept to persist within the Weapons Engagement Zone, employing maneuver and logistics webs. This strategy enhances sea control and sea denial operations, integrates multi-domain operations, and ultimately strengthens regional security.

“The U.S. Navy's ballistic missile submarine force has demonstrated yet again that we have the proven capability to work seamlessly alongside III Marine Expeditionary Force to execute our mission, allowing us to remain on station,” said Maine’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Travis L. Wood. “Rotary-wing vertical replenishment such as this allow us to quickly resupply so that we can constantly maintain pressure against any adversary who would wish to do harm to the homeland.”

The Pacific Submarine Force maximizes our strengths – knowledge, stealth, agility, firepower, and endurance – and works as part of Joint and Combined Forces to maintain the international rules-based order and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific Region. Submarine-based strategic deterrence is the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad, and the endurance of our submarines means that the Submarine Force maintains a continual presence across the globe, each and every day.

III Marine Expeditionary Force is postured to support naval expeditionary operations within the first island chain as part of a SiF. Close, lethal integration between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy enhances regional security and stability alongside our Allies and partners.