Photo Information

U.S. Marines and Sailors with the Basic Reconnaissance Course 2-18 conduct helocast insertion training aboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, March 8, 2018. Helocast training is a graduation requirement which provides flexibility and maneuverability and will prepare students for basic recon insertion.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Haley McMenamin

Basic Reconnaissance Course: helocast insertion

19 Mar 2018 | Lance Cpl. Haley McMenamin The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines and Sailors conducted a basic helocast insertion exercise in the final weeks of the Basic Reconnaissance Course 2-18 aboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, March 14, 2018.

Helocasting is an entry level skill for quick and efficient insertion into the water from a helicopter, in this case, a CH-53E Super Stallion from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, "The Flying Tigers." 

Marines and Sailors were broken up into five teams, each team completing three variations of jumps into the bay.  The first jump was executed with just flippers, the next was conducted with flippers and packs.  For the third and final jump, BRC students utilized their boats; the entire team was required to get aboard the boat, start it up, and get back to shore.

“It builds good team cohesion because you have to work together in order for things to run smoothly,” said Hospital Corpsman Second Class Scott Kelly, a student with BRC 2-18, “If one guy is not doing his job, then it’s not going to work out very well.  Starting from when we load the boat into the helicopter until we jump, working together allows us to not leave any loose ends open.”

The exercise provided different scenarios which required flexibility and maneuverability to execute correctly. It also introduced knowledge and concepts that are characteristics of ground and amphibious reconnaissance missions. 

“This is a very standard and basic insertion method for us where we don’t have to use personnel for extended periods of time and we can build this capability in-house with our platoons and companies,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Weinrich, an instructor with the Basic Reconnaissance Course 2-18.

The Basic Reconnaissance Course consists of three phases which cover individual skills, patrolling, and amphibious skills, over a span of 12 weeks.  Course 2-18 began with 140 students and is now down to 28 in their final weeks. Graduation for Course 2-18 is scheduled for March 23, 2018 on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.