JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -- Marines with 2nd Transportation Support Battalion assisted Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 during a night time external lift operation at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Dec. 14, 2015.
The battalion routinely works with training squadrons to help facilitate student pilots’ required hours performing external lifts. The squadron used two MV-22B Ospreys in the night’s training.
“Transportation of resources is the primary focus for the Marines here in 2nd TSB,” said Sgt. Brian Seate, the range safety officer for the operation. “The Marines do not have a set number requirement for their lifts, but the more we do, the more it makes them knowledgeable and confident in this military occupational specialty.”
Marines on the ground guided the landing of the aircraft through chemical trail lights that designated a field landing zone, with their netted load in the center. Working with zero illumination, the Marines then attached the cargo load, weighing approximately 1,236 pounds, to the cable hanging from the aircraft.
“During day-time, if a Marine knows what he’s doing, he’s good, but at night, you need an extra sense of awareness,” said Lance Cpl. Ian Bolz, a landing support specialist. “Our safety Marine needs to be watching, and making sure the movements and positions of the crew are okay.”
In an operational environment, landing support specialists can be expected to help facilitate the transport of supplies, ammunition, or even heavy weapons.
“We could help get meals, ready-to-eat pallets, ammunition or all the way up to an M777 Howitzer lifted to get them to the Marines that are on the front lines,” Seate said.
Seate regarded the training as mutually rewarding to the squadron and his battalion, citing that each successful operation strengthens their proficiency as landing support specialists.
“We, as well as the squadron, both benefit from this training and fulfill what is a very important military occupational specialty in the Marine Corps,” Seate said.