MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Special Operations Training Group and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 conducted helicopter rope suspension training from an MV-22B Osprey June 13 at Landing Zone Vulture here.
About 20 Marines conducted this training to become qualified HRST masters. Each Marine took turns directing each other to rappel out of an MV-22B Osprey.
“They do a HRST master qualification course where the students learn how to properly get Marines safely down the rope,” said Capt. Nathaniel Ross, the quality assurance officer with VMM-263. “It’s typically a week long course where they do fast roping exercises on the tower, in the air, day and night.”
Although rappelling out of an Osprey can be dangerous, Marines continue to train for combat.
“It’s quite a rush going down the rope,” said Cpl. Jesse Smith, a machine gun section leader for 1st Battalion 6th Marines B Company. “However, you have full control of it and it’s awesome.”
The Marines are also training to become combat ready and efficient in case they deploy with a Marine expeditionary unit.
“The guys and instructors need good, solid repetitions so that way when it is time to actually do this in combat or overseas, they can do it safely and effectively,” said Ross.
Additionally, Marines were being trained for alternate insertion in an Osprey, where they would be in charge of getting Marines in and out of the aircraft after fast roping and rappelling.
“We were doing this exercise in a training environment and after it is done it will be an extra asset for when we are deployed,” said Sgt. Nicholas Tissandier, an MV-22 crew chief with the squadron, who was training Marines for alternate insertion. “This will definitely give us fleet readiness and give us an extra asset. It’s how the Marine Corps works – you put your heart and soul into other Marines and they carry on your work.”
After the training, the Marines will receive their HRST master certificates.
“When we get our certificates we will have the ability to train our Marines even on a MEU,” said Smith. “Doing operations and getting to work with aircraft and now this, it’s awesome.”