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Two ordinance technicians with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 arm an AH-1W "Super Cobra" before it takes part in a sortie during Exercise Steel Knight at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. The "Stingers" provided close air support for 3rd Battalion/5th Marines Dec. 10.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

'Stingers' sharpen skills throughout Steel Knight

12 Oct 2008 | Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

Exercise Steel Knight provided Marines with combined arms training for squadrons gearing up to deploy overseas.

In preparation for deployment, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., participated in Steel Knight from Dec. 5  through 14. to conduct various exercises.

It proved to be a tremendous training tool for the “Stingers” of HMLA-267, who are slated to deploy to Okinawa for six months.

“Steel Knight was a great opportunity for the air assets to integrate with the ground units prior to deploying,” said Capt. Jeffrey J. Cahill, a pilot for HMLA-267. “I believe both units received some excellent training as we prepare to deploy in the next few weeks.”

The squadron conducted various operations throughout Steel Knight. Some of the missions included day and night close air support, armed reconnaissance, insert and extract missions and surface escorts.

Sixty-five Marines from the Stingers participated in exercise Steel Knight, along with four AH-1W “Super Cobras” and three UH-1N “Huey” helicopters.

The exercise gave the Stingers the opportunity to practice supporting the Marine Air Ground Task Force by providing offensive air support, utility support and armed escort under all weather conditions during  joint or combined operations.

“Steel Knight was an excellent exercise that focused on the MAGTF doctrine and the integration of combined arms,” said Cahill. “It provided a great opportunity for air and ground to get together and conduct realistic training.”

The Stingers returned from Steel Knight ready to put their combined arms skills to the test.

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3rd Marine Aircraft Wing