Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced) and Marines with Echo, Fox and Golf Companies, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment (Reinforced) conducted predeployment training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Aug. 18.
Marines with VMM-166 (Rein) and Marines with 2/1 (Rein) performed on-off drills with two MV-22B Ospreys and a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel mission as part of their monthly predeployment training.
According to Gunnery Sgt. Paul Gallion, a flight line division chief and weapons and tactics instructor with VMM-166 (Rein), the training allowed infantry Marines to practice safely boarding and exiting the aircraft.
“For the ground-side guys, it is to make them comfortable getting on and off the aircraft,” said Gallion. “Some of [them] are experiencing getting on a helicopter for the first time.”
Marines with 2/1 practiced egressing from the Ospreys while maintaining situational awareness of personnel and equipment.
“If you understand why you’re being told to do things in a certain way … you buy into it more,” said Gallion. “We [trained] to build up their situational awareness and [make them comfortable with] getting on and off the aircraft.”
Cpl. Orry Kappus, a section leader for mortars with G Co., 2/1, said the training maintains necessary skills fresh prior to deployment, and stresses the safety of the Marines, their equipment and aircraft.
“[They’re] going to be our primary transportation during deployment,” said Kappus. “We need to be proficient in getting on and off [the aircraft] … that’s why we practice.”
The Marines conducted a TRAP mission after they completed the drills, which required them to locate and evacuate a simulated downed pilot.
“The TRAP mission was to build ground-side readiness and our own internal readiness for the multitude of missions we may have to do,” said Gallion. “[The crew chiefs] need to understand the basic concepts of every mission we do. It makes them a better crew chief and a better asset to the unit and to the MEU.”