News: Squadron keeps raid force helos fueled, fighting
Story by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter
NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY, POINT MUGU, Calif. — More than 150 miles away from their hangar here, Marines and sailors refueled aircraft carrying a maritime raid force on a long-range helicopter training raid July 12.
The service members with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) established a forward arming and refueling point at Camp San Luis Obispo during the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s large-scale exercise with ocean and urban-based scenarios.
“Providing fuel and arms to aircraft in a forward area increases their capability and range and keeps them closer to the fight,” said 1st Lt. Sean M. Mccullough, a 25-year-old Madison, Wis., native, and the officer in charge of the squadron’s low-altitude air defense detachment.
Air traffic controllers guided aircraft to landing zones while a security detachment and crash fire rescue Marines ensured the overall safety of the airfield.
“Today’s exercise gave myself and my Marines a better understanding of how a (refueling point) works and how our team will be called upon to provide security,” said Cpl. Daniel T. Conroy, a 21-year-old Boston native and low-altitude air defense gunner with the squadron.
The unit’s aviation combat element pumped more than 1,500 gallons of fuel from two CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopters into attack and utility helicopters.
“I was very pleased with the Marines,” said Maj. Kenneth W. Phelps, the officer in charge for the unit’s Marine Air Control Group detachment. “ We set a standard and we met it. When the aircraft arrived, we were prepared.”