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Marines with Helicopter Support Team, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, prepare a humvee to be lifted externally by a CH-53E Super Stallion aboard Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 25. The straps are used to connect the humvee to hooks hanging below the aircraft, and can safely carry approximately 25,000 pounds.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner

When training calls, Wolfpack barks back to prepare for deployment

1 Feb 2013 | Lance Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. –Squadrons preparing to deploy often use an environment that resembles that of Afghanistan. Luckily, mountains and deserts that replicate Afghan terrain and offer squadrons a realistic place to train before deploying are easy to find on the west coast.

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 “Wolfpack” spent ten days, Jan. 24 through Feb. 5, aboard Creech Air Force Base, Nev., in preparation of their upcoming deployment.

“This is a building-block training exercise for us,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Sheyda, commanding officer of HMH-466 and a Charlotte, N.C., native. “We are really focusing on the fundamentals while we are here.”

Although the training is considered basic, it must be practiced to ensure combat readiness at all times. The squadron has had successful deployments previously due to similar training efforts.

This exercise focused on three main evolutions; external operations, employing weapons systems and turf training.
During training, pilots and crew chief combined employing weapons systems and maneuvers that can be used to engage the enemy and avoid enemy fire to make the evolution as combat realistic as possible.

This evolution was not only beneficial for flight crews but ground crew workers as well. It gave everyone a chance to practice their skills in a field environment instead of in an aircraft hangar.

“Operating away from Miramar is great for all our Marines,” said Sheyda. “We can practice in a desert environment with all aspects of the mission working together.”

Marines are known for their ability to effectively accomplish any task at hand. Marines must work hard and train often to ensure mission accomplishment.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing