[Photo] How to move a watercraft U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s way

Maritime External Air Transportation System using a U.S. Army MH-47G Chinook.

Taken on May 21, in Moses Lake, Washington, the above image shows Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen from Special Boat Team 12, stationed at Naval Base Coronado, California, conducting a MEATS (Maritime External Air Transportation System) training with the help of the aviators from 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

MEATS is a way to move a watercraft from land or water to somewhere else using a U.S. Army MH-47G Chinook helicopter of the 160th SOAR (A) “Night Stalkers”, the U.S. Army special ops force which provides support for both general purpose and special operations forces flying Chinooks, MH-60L/K Black Hawks, A/MH-6M Little Birds choppers and MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones (along with a few MH-X Silent Hawks and perhaps a bunch of stealthy Chinooks and some stealthy Little Birds).

The procedure is as follows: the watercraft crewmen rig the boat to the chopper hovering above, and then climb a rope ladder to board the MH-47 before it moves to the final destination, where they will slide down a rope to the boat before the helicopter disconnects the hoist cables.

Image credit: U.S. Army


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.