MARINE CORPS OUTLYING FIELD CAMP DAVIS --
Marines endured rain, heat and fatigue during a field exercise aboard Marine Corps Outlying Field Camp Davis, N.C., Sept. 22. More than 250 Marines assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Aircraft Group 29, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing participated in the training exercise.
Marines were tasked to complete different simulated missions that included the construction of an expeditionary airfield, interior security for the air site, an attack on the facility, after attack repairs and aircraft salvage.
"The great thing about this exercise is getting the Marines out here as one entity,” explained 1st Lt. Gregory Rives, the Headquarters and Service Company company commander with the squadron. “Marines get to see the role their job plays in the overall mission of the squadron. Rather than isolating the Marines by their individual sections, training exercises such as these give them a real feel for how they would all work as one force while on a real mission.”
MWSS-274’s mission is to provide Aviation Ground Support to enable MAG-29, a composite MAG or other designated Aviation Combat Elements, and all supporting or attached elements of the Marine Air Control Group to conduct expeditionary operations.
“The MWSS is crucial for expeditionary aviation,” said Rives. “The capabilities that the squadron provides are unique to the Marine Corps. It gives the MAW the ability to launch and recover an aircraft from an expeditionary environment vice an already established air base or a naval carrier.”
The Marine Corps has MWSSs assigned to every MAW across the globe. MWSS Marines are trained to deploy to any part of the world and provide ground support ranging from operating and repairing air bases and air sites to developing forward arming and refueling points.
“Coming out here in the unpredictable weather helps us learn to work in different conditions we might find ourselves in while forward deployed,” said Cpl. Xavier Payne, an aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist assigned to the squadron. “There were days we had no rain and high heat, then others when it down poured all day and into the night. We have to be aware of the different factors that may play into the mission. Not only do we have to be aware of the human factor of fatigue after long hours, the climate might change the way we operate to accomplish a mission.
“We might find ourselves providing security in a desert or salvaging an aircraft in a rainforest. Our mission will take us to any corner of the world in a moment’s notice. Training in conditions like these, in the middle of down pour and storms, will make the difference.”