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A CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465 gains altitude while transporting Marines to an objective area during training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 27. The insertion and extraction training allows Marines to enter and exit an objective area quickly from miles away.

Photo by Cpl. Owen Kimbrel

HMH-465 performs raid exercise with ground units

30 Jun 2014 | Cpl. Owen Kimbrel 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 465 conducted simulated raid exercises aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 27.

Marines conducted the training to prepare the squadron for quick insertions and extractions of ground units in hostile areas while maintaining communications.

A CH-53E Super Stallion inserted 95 Marines into an objective area where they conducted simulated actions to gain control of an objective. Marines were lifted one squad at a time until all four squads were in the objective area. Once inserted, the Marines with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment conducted operations for approximately two hours while maintaining communication with air support. The communication required between the aircraft and ground units is critical to mission accomplishment.

“It’s important that we conduct this type of training because pilots have to communicate with units on the ground to know where they are going and what to expect when they get there,” said Sgt. Christopher Johnson, a crew chief with HMH-465. “When you have everybody communicating with each other, it’s easy to get confused, but this training allows us to know what to expect when a real-life situation arises.”

To make the training more realistic, simulated casualties were extracted from the area and returned to the command post. After taking control of the objective, the Marines called for extraction to return back to the command post.

“I think it went great,” said Capt. Donald Carlsen, a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot with HMH-465. “It’s always good supporting the ground units; they do the real tough jobs, and I look forward to doing it again soon.”