CH-53 helicopter model. The CH-53D is a more capable version of the CH-53A introduced into the Marine Corps in 1966. CH-53Ds, with improved engines and increased power, are also used to recover downed aircraft, sweep mined areas and, if necessary, tow distressed ships. Used extensively both afloat and ashore, the Sea Stallion was the heavy lift helicopter for the Marine Corps until the introduction of the CH-53E triple engine variant of the H-53 family into the fleet in 1981. The CH-53D has performed its multi-role mission lifting both equipment and personnel in training and combat, most recently in Operation Desert Storm, where the helicopter performed with distinction.