Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
Pilots and crewmembers from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 conducted tactical aerial insertion drills for emergency scenarios northwest of Marine Corps Outlying Field Atlantic Dec. 3.
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 provided close-air support with an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter during the simulated mission.
“The overall purpose of training was providing the aircrew training with inserting troops in a hot [landing zone] as well as the escort’s ability to provide their role as close air support,” said Capt. Chris Ludlum, a pilot with HMH-366.
The Marines conducted the training by landing their Super Stallions along a road as the Super Cobras flew overhead.
“Everything went very smooth with the training today,” said Ludlum. “We can have the guys out of the aircraft in less than a minute.”
Speed during an aerial insertion is imperative. Aerial insertion training helps pilots and aircrew prepare for possible combat and humanitarian assistance missions.
“It all depends on the experience level of the guys we’re hauling,” said Sgt. Cory Emily, a crew chief with HMH-366. “If the passengers are more senior Marines that have conducted this type of exercise before, they generally are in and out very quick.”
The training helped crewmembers refresh their abilities to assist pilots during takeoff and landing as well as communication between aircraft.
“This type of training gets us integrated with working with other air assets,” said Emily. “Today it was the [Super Cobras], coordinating efficiently with them to conduct the mission.”