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Marines from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 get strap in and get ready to perform Special Patrol Insertion and Extraction systems during an air demonstration at HMLA-369 Family Day, Aug 29. More than 300 Marines and their families enjoyed the air demonstration and activities throughout the day.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

HMLA-369 showcases skills, focuses on family readiness

11 Sep 2009 | Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

A UH-1Y "Huey" flew with six Marines dangling from a rope above a crowd of 300 service members and their families, Aug. 29, kicking off Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 Family Day aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The family day featured close air support, fast-roping, Special Patrol Insertion and Extraction Systems and ordnance delivery demonstrations. Pilots and crew chiefs flew several Huey helicopters and AH-1Z “Cobras” at Range 407. More than 300 “Gunfighters” and their families attended the event that showcased the squadron’s aviation skills.

“We all got to see the fruit of their work, and I enjoyed the show,” said Liesl R. Beaton, wife of 1st Lt. Jose L. Beaton, a pilot for the squadron. “It gave us appreciation and understanding of what they do.”

After the morning show, the Gunfighters and their families traveled back to Pendleton’s Ranch House for lunch, live music and activities. The activities included pony rides, air-soft shooting and an inflatable obstacle course for the children.

“The events build camaraderie and unit cohesiveness,” said Lt. Col. Michael A. Moore, commanding officer of the squadron. “It gave all the families the opportunity to meet, and gave them a sense of appreciation for what they do.”

Not only did the squadron showcase their aviation skills, families got the opportunity to get to know one another.

“A lot of the time it’s much harder to be home and not knowing what is going on,” said Capt. George J. Stegmiller, a pilot for the squadron who helped coordinate the event. That is why it’s good for the families so they can meet and build a support system with each other,”

The day showcased the squadron’s capabilities, while completing the ultimate mission of family readiness.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing