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Hammerheads support Anti-Terrorism Battalion during troop movement exercise

US Marine Corps News

By Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Hammerheads of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 conducted a troop movement exercise with Marines from Company F, Anti-Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division, a reservist unit from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., aboard Camp Lejeune Oct. 20.

“This training is important because it allows the ground units to become more comfortable and familiar with the capabilities of the CH-53E,” said Capt. Jason W. Stapleton, ground training officer and pilot with HMH-366. “It also teaches them how to safely operate around a helicopter of our size.”

The Marines of Company F worked on boarding, casualty evacuations and several company movement drills.

“Troop movement and medevac training is important because 24-hour combat operations do not allow a second chance to do it better or more quickly,” said Gunnery Sgt. Joseph A. Carmichael, maintenance control chief with HMH-366. “Therefore, all parties involved must take advantage of training events like this to create a “second nature” atmosphere. From the pilots and crew increasing proficiency and crew coordination, to the Marines on the ground gaining familiarization of the aircraft and procedures for specific missions, everyone benefits from the training.”

The training becomes repetitive for both parties involved but it helps build muscle memory that benefits the mission of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing said Carmichael.

“What starts off as sometimes slow and awkward repetition here translates to immediate response in theater when seconds mean lives,” said Carmichael. “HMH-366 supports the mission of 2nd MAW by remaining available for tasking to facilitate this type of training for the ground combat element. This impacts the mission of the Marine Corps by keeping our Marines trained, organized and equipped for Offensive amphibious employment and as a ‘force in readiness.’”

In the end Marines from both parties gained valuable resources and tools to do their job and do it efficiently, said Stapleton.

“These training missions help to create a more prepared and effective air ground task force that is ready to take on many different tasks all over the world,” said Stapleton.

Company F, Anti Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division is a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force designed to rapidly organize, train and deploy specially trained and sustainable task forces to detect, deter and defend against terrorism, as well as to conduct crisis response in the event of a terrorist attack. Co. F is attached to 2nd Marine Division while based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Co. F, AT Battalion is comprised of Marine reservists from Marine Corps bases across the U.S. in states that include Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York., Massachusetts and many more.

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