Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Expeditionary fire and rescue (EFR) Marines with Marine Wing Support squadron (MWSS) 373 “Aces” conducted a simulated flight line emergency on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) Twentynine Palms, California, May 10.
The simulation, which was part of Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 3-17, focused on bringing parts of the ground combat element (GCE) and air combat element (ACE) together to complete mission-essential training vital to a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) operation.
“[Practicing] the simulated emergency is very important,” said Cpl. Antonio Quijano, an EFR crew chief with MWSS-373. “You want to make sure that the most junior Marine to the most senior is always prepared to act at a moment’s notice.”
During the training scenario, EFR Marines practiced responding to the hard landing of an MV-22B Osprey with two passengers on board and 500 gallons of fuel on the flight deck.
According to Quijano, EFR Marines arrived on scene, assessed the situation and utilized the P-19 Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Truck to extinguish the fire.
Without EFR, Marines participating in ITX 3-17 would not have large-scale firefighting or rescue capabilities on the flight line. EFR Marines provide immediate and responsive rescue and firefighting services for aircraft, structural and vehicular emergencies. They provide safety during the exercise and they’re using this exercise as a valuable training opportunity for both young and seasoned Marines.
MWSS-373’s mission is to provide 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing with ground logistics support -- primarily through emergency response units such as EFR.
“It’s important for everyone to be knowledgeable about the aircraft and what everyone’s role is,” stated Cpl. John Phillips, an EFR driver operator with Ace Support. “They need to know the aircraft too…where to make entry into the aircraft and where to make an emergency exit.”
The Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field (SELF) located on MCAGCC simulates a forward-deployed landing strip and gives the EFR Marines experience in handling several types of aircraft emergencies they might see while deployed.
“We have a range of different aircraft that take off from this airfield,” Quijano said. “If they run into a problem returning from a mission, it’s our job to ensure that incident is handled as safely as possible.”