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Marines with the School of Infantry West observe a UH-1Y Huey with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 during an aerial demonstration at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 11. Marines with HMLAT-303 conducted basic flight maneuvers during the demonstration to build cohesion between air and ground Marines.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jake McClung

MAGTF starts here

14 Apr 2017 | Lance Cpl. Jake McClung The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with the School of Infantry West and Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, “Atlas,” came together to demonstrate each other’s operating procedures and capabilities at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, April 11, 2017.

Marines with HMLAT-303 practiced various maneuvers in a UH-1Y Huey and demonstrated the basic functions of the aircraft to SOI students and their leaders, according to Sgt. Daniel Alfaro, a crew chief with HMLAT-303.

Marines completing SOI training go through a three-month course after completing recruit training to become basic infantry Marines. Once the Marines finish, they report to either security forces or operational forces, where they will likely work with various aircraft. 

According to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Ventrone, regimental gunner for SOI-West, this event and similar occasions bring the air and ground Marines together, which is important to the success of a Marine air-ground task force because it allows Marines to build cohesion with their counterparts early in their career.

A MAGTF, the primary organizational structure for how the Marine Corps fights, integrates both air and ground assets to achieve a combined arms effect. This training provides an opportunity for infantry and HMLAT-303 students to gain experience and develop cohesion in operating as a MAGTF, said Capt. Samy Cano, SOI West logistics officer.

“It’s great to see how these two separate commands will intertwine in regards to mission sets, which are supporting each other at the entry level,” said Cano. 

Lt. Col. Samuel Deputy, commanding officer of HMLAT-303, and Col. Jeffrey Holt, commanding officer of SOI West, discussed future goals to integrate training between the two schools while at the demonstration.

“Events like this show our ground Marines that Marine aviation exists for them,” said Deputy. “It really strengthens the bond between the Marines we support and the aviation Marines that help make them the most powerful infantry force in the world.”

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