In 2015, The Marines, Navy, and Naval Air Systems Command concluded that in order to meet emerging mission requirements, the MH-53 heavy-lift aircraft must be added back to the fleet and re-furbished for reentry. But the helicopters have not been in production for some time, sitting in the Arizona desert since 2004 un-operational.

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After sitting in the Arizona desert since 2004, a pair of MH-53 Sea Dragon heavy-lift helicopters were rescued by the Navy and Marine Corps in 2015 as candidates for refurbishment and re-entry into the fleet. But instead of going the typical depot route, the services chose an outside contractor to whip the aircraft back into flying shape, Erickson Incorporated. Marine Corps made the decision to utilize Erickson Incorporated to bring the legacy aircraft back to a current Navy configuration and into mission-ready shape.