Photo Information

Soldiers hook up an M777 howitzer to the belly of a CH-53E Super Stallion during a joint training exercise at Fort Bragg. The training familiarized both services with the standard operating procedures each unit practices during heavy lift missions. In a combat zone, lifts are assigned according to availability, making it necessary for the Army and the Marine Corps to be familiar with each other’s procedures. The 18th Fires Brigade plans, synchronizes and employs joint and combined fires in support of forced entry operations, designated division or the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters and integrates attached ground and air maneuver forces in order to conduct full spectrum operations.

Photo by Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

HMH-366 conducts joint training at Fort Bragg

28 Mar 2013 | Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

Fort Bragg, N.C., offers numerous training opportunities for Marines. A detachment of three CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and crews with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 took advantage of that March 10-15. When the squadron conducted joint training with the Army’s 18th Fires Brigade, an artillery unit armed with M777 howitzers.

During the training, HMM-366 conducted external lifts and aerial insertions of the howitzers, bolstering the soldiers’ speed, maneuverability and lethality. Both services adapted to each other’s techniques, tactics and procedures, increasing cohesion and interoperability among the services.

“It was a huge learning experience,” said Capt. Shawn J. Piner, a pilot with HMH-366. “I never get to plan face-to-face with a gun unit. In aviation, we usually see things from our perspective, but it’s when we get to talk to the units we’re supporting that we can see what they’re seeing.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point