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Marines with 1st Marine Division, 5th Regiment, set up a perimeter during an insertion and extraction exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 25. Ground Marines simulate a hostile environment as much as possible to prepare for a real scenario.

Photo by Pfc. Raquel Barraza

White Knights support ground Training with insertion and extraction exercise

25 Oct 2012 | Pfc. Raquel Barraza

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Crew chiefs and pilots with Marine Medium Tiltotor Squadron 165 “White Knights,” 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, supported the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in troop insertions and extractions exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 25.

White Knight Marines inserted Infantry Marines with 1st Marine Division, 5th Regiment, into a simulated hostile environment for Tactical Rescue of Aircraft Personnel training.

“We have to insert these Marines in a hostile environment in a small zone in the least amount of time,” said Capt. Patrick Johnsen, a pilot with VMM-165 and Mokena, Ill., native. 

With the MV-22 Osprey replacing the CH-46 Sea Knight, Johnsen explained how important this training is to ground Marines.

“They need to know how to get in and out of the aircraft and know its capabilities if they are going to complete the mission effectively,” said Johnsen.

The Marines on the ground couldn’t agree more on how important the Osprey is to accomplish the mission.

“The Osprey can take us where some ground vehicles can’t and that’s why it’s so important,” said Lance Cpl. Cody Underwood, an infantry assaultman with 1st Marine Division, 5th Regiment and an Albia, Iowa, native.

By practicing these insertions and extractions, Marines and pilots of VMM-165 ensured that ground Marines are where they are needed whether in training or in combat.