MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
More than 30 Marines from Marine Corps Air Station New River conducted shipboard firefighting training here with Cherry Point Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Marines Nov. 2.
The Marines earned certifications to become shipboard firefighters in preparation for an upcoming deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
"Not only can we save the assets like aircraft, but we can also save lives," said Gunnery Sgt. Joseph H. Hollingsworth, a maintenance controller with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266. “We have the training to actually put out the fires. We know the different equipment to use in various situations. That will help save lives.”
The training was conducted at Cherry Point because ARFF has a piece of training equipment that gives trainees the most realistic shipboard fire fighting training available – the mobile aircraft fire training device.
The equipment looks like an aircraft and is a controlled burning device. The Cherry Point crew controls where and how much fire emits from different areas of the MAFTD, which keeps the training safe and gives users a real-life feel, said Staff Sgt. Scott A. Hamilton, an ARFF training staff non-commissioned officer.
The MAFTD is the an aircraft look-alike and presents the closest similarities to a live aircraft fire that helps train and develop the skills needed to train for this worst-case scenario, said Hamilton.
In addition to advice from the Cherry Point crew, more than 10 instructors from the ARFF military occupational specialty school in Pensacola, Fla., were on hand to teach the New River Marines the proper way to exchange hoses while fighting fires and tactics for combating aircraft fires.
More than 100 New River Marines earned the certification.