The Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low series is a long-range combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter for the United States Air Force. The series was upgraded from the HH-53B/C, variants of the Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion. The HH-53 "Super Jolly Green Giant" was initially developed to replace the HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant". The helicopters later transitioned to Special Operations missions. The U.S. Air Force's MH-53J/M fleet was retired in September 2008 and was replaced by the CV-22B Osprey
The US Air Force ordered HH-53B and HH-53C variants for Search and Rescue units, and developed the MH-53J Pave Low version for Special Operations missions.
The Pave Low's mission was low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, day or night, in adverse weather, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces. Pave Lows often work in conjunction with MC-130H Combat Talon for navigation, communications and combat support, and with MC-130P Combat Shadow for in-flight refueling.
The large green airframe of the HH-53B earned it the nickname "Super Jolly Green Giant". This name is a reference to the smaller HH-3E "Jolly Green Giant", a stretched variant of the H-3 Sea King, used in the Vietnam War for combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) operations.