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Marine Air Support Squadron 1 simulated a combat environment during a direct air support center drill, or DASC, at Cherry Point Feb. 10-13. DASC drills help prepare the MASS-1 Marines to operate in a deployed environment.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

MASS-1 conducts direct air support center drill

18 Feb 2014 | Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

Members of Marine Air Support Squadron 1 conducted a direct air support center, or DASC, drill at Cherry Point Feb. 10-13.

The Marines trained to prepare MASS-1 for deployments and possible contingency operations, according to Cpl. David Moss, the white cell crew chief for the drill. 

"Procedural control means we trust what information the pilots relay to us," said Moss. "We cannot see the aircraft at all; we don’t use radar, we plot points and navigate them using the information they provide to us."

Mission proficiency requires Marines to cross train and learn several roles within the DASC, according to Moss. Understanding each role helps unit cohesion and makes MASS-1 more mission capable. 

"Knowing the abilities of the different aircraft is also important," said Moss. "You wouldn’t want to send a UH-1N Huey to pick up a squad of Marines in need of an emergency [evacuation].

MASS-1 trains continuously, according to 1st Lt. Trevor Anderson, the officer in charge for the DASC drill with MASS-1. Training, including DASC drills, helps the MASS-1 Marines prepare for a variety of situations. 

"Performing the DASC drills works great for preparing the Marines," said Anderson. "We can control the tempo of the drill so Marines who are new to the system can learn while the experienced ones can receive the tempo they would while deployed."

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point