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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- An MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 "GreyHawks" waits to lift off as members from multiple uniits board the aircraft to conduct fast roping excercises aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Calif., Oct 1. The units practice with the Osprey due to the differences in the rotor wash compared to other rotary aircraft.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Owen Kimbrel

Greyhawks conduct fast-rope exercise

2 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Owen Kimbrel 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 “Greyhawks” conducted fast-rope training with Marines from four different battalions aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 1.

The Marines conducted the fast-rope exercise utilizing the MV-22B Osprey to become familiar with the effects of the propeller’s rotor wash. Fast-roping is used by many units to insert Marines into an area quickly without having to land.

“The exercise went well, we had a lot of ropers and a lot of time in the zone,” said Staff Sgt. Jayson Synder, a crew chief with VMM-161. “We conducted about 150 individual fast ropes during the exercise.”

Aircraft such as the Osprey are essential tools for inserting and extracting Marines in a variety of locations. Fast-rope training allows Marines to enter terrain that would not be suitable for aircraft to land, such as mountainous or urban environments.

Infantry and reconnaissance units boarded the Osprey and performed the exercise multiple times, ensuring each unit received sufficient training.

This excercise was different than most fast-roping exercises because of the way the rope is blown by the rotors of the Osprey, explained Snyder.

The effects of the rotor wash proved to be little trouble for the units conducting the training. This type of training ensured each unit could successfully work with assistance from Ospreys at a moments notice.