OUTLYING LANDING FIELD ATLANTIC, N.C. -- Marines and Sailors with Marine Transport Squadron 1 conducted hoist training Aug. 15 at Outlying Landing Field Atlantic with the HH-46D Sea Knight search and rescue helicopter dubbed “Pedro.”
Eight crewmembers participated in the exercise to familiarize themselves with active hoist operating procedures.
“The flight went well today,” said Capt. David R. Crookham, a search and rescue helicopter pilot with VMR-1. “It’s always good to do these types of training because this is a very difficult job.”
The training is crucial for VMR-1 personnel because of their status as one of the last two active search and rescue squadrons in the Marine Corps. The other is located at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
The training was also used for a newer crew member to receive hands on training and earn qualifications for hoist deployment and recovery, gear-to-ground personnel qualified.
“It was a good eye opener for the trainee,” said Petty Officer Second Class Adam J. Woolley, a corpsman with the squadron. “He got to see how much skill and practice it takes to get proficient at what we do.”
Seaman Justin Jones said he approached the training with open eyes and ears absorbing the knowledge more senior crewmembers offered.
“I was hoisting from the crew chief position because they want all of us to be proficient with it,” said the search and rescue corpsman trainee. “I feel it could have gone better, but the other guys were up there with me so I was listening to everything they had to say.”
Jones practiced lowering rescue baskets and stokes litters and retrieving them while crewmembers oversaw and directed him.
“There are always people on their way out of the corps, and we need to train their replacements,” said Lance Cpl. Brandon S. Wilson, a crew chief with the squadron who helped train Jones. “Another thing is that the more we train, the more proficient we will be for search and rescue operations.”
Proficiency and readiness is one of VMR-1’s main goals with every training exercise they conduct.
“Skills are perishable. You always have to keep training so you don’t lose those skills,” said Crookham. “They did that today so they stayed sharp and did great.”