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Student pilots perform a touch-and-go landing during field carrier landing practice with the EA-6B Prowler at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, N.C., July 17. The pilots are with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

VMAQT-1 pilots refine fundamentals at Bogue

22 Jul 2014 | Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

Naval aviators with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 conducted field carrier landing practice at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, N.C., July 10 – 17.

This is the first time that the EA-6B Prowler training pilots conducted FCLP at ALF Bogue. The training helped pilots refine the fundamentals of landing on an expeditionary airfield during both day and night, or low-light conditions.

VMAQT-1 is a training squadron for naval aviators entering the tactical electronic warfare field. As part of a training squadron, the pilots use every opportunity to continue to learn and refine the fundamentals of flying, according to Maj. Benjamin Friedrick, a landing signal officer with VMAQT-1

The pilots flew from Cherry Point to ALF Bogue to perform FCLP. A primary training objective was to land on the same point on the runway before accelerating to take off.

"Practicing these techniques helps the young aviators develop their airmanship," said Friedrick. "The techniques used during this training evaluate a pilot's ability to land on an expeditionary airfield."

The landing field at Bogue is uniquely suited for FCLP training. At roughly 4,000 feet long, the runway at ALF Bogue is composed of aluminum panels coated with non-stick material and is similar to runways constructed for expeditionary operations in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

"Bogue Field provides us an optical landing signal along with expeditionary matting and arresting gear, which gives pilots a better sense of landing in an austere location rather than just an asphalt runway," said Friedrick. "This type of training is meant to prepare pilots for combat."

The training at ALF Bogue ensures the pilots are able to land in austere environments without support from other services outside of the Marine Corps, according to Maj. Nathaniel Baker, the senior landing signal officer and instructor pilot with the squadron. It is the only expeditionary airfield in North Carolina to simulate the shortened runways found in expeditionary environments.

"Without Bogue this training would be impossible," said Baker.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point