News: HMLA-167 lands aboard the USS San Antonio for Exercise Bold Alligator
Story by Lance Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels
USS SAN ANTONIO, At Sea - Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 traveled from Marine Corps Air Station New River to the landing dock platform USS San Antonio to support Exercise Bold Alligator 2012.
Bold Alligator is the largest navel amphibious exercise in the past 10 years and represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ revitalization of the full range of amphibious operations. The exercise focuses on today’s fight with today’s forces, while showcasing the advantages of seabasing. This exercise will take place through Feb. 12 afloat and ashore in and around Virginia and North Carolina.
The squadron came to support the exercise with close to 100 Marines from the squadron’s flight line, avionics and ordnance sections to ensure the aircraft remained mission ready at all times. The Marines also brought four AH-1W Super Cobras, and two UH-1Y Hueys and to help support the exercise.
“HMLA-167 supports the Marine Air Ground Task Force by giving them the ability for offensive air support, utility support, and combined supporting arms,” said Lance Cpl. Aaron R. Oldham, a crew chief with HMLA-167.
The Marines of the squadron are looking forward to gaining a lot of experience and learning what complications life on a ship can bring.
“I have never been on a ship before. I am looking forward on learning how to land the helicopters,” added Oldham, a Rogers, Ark., native.
“The pilots are getting qualified to be able to land on a boat at sea; it can be difficult especially on one this size,” said Cpl. Brian Overstreet, an ordinance specialist with HMLA-167.
The squadron will be undergoing a variety of missions while on the ship to support Bold Alligator.
“With this exercise we are trying to get back to our amphibious roots,” said Capt. Kyle Ellis, HMLA AH-1W Super Cobra Pilot. ”Our missions will be close air and helicopter supports.” We will be doing live ordinance fires at Golf 10 range at Camp Lejeune, N.C.”
While supporting Exercise Bold Alligator 2012, HMLA-167 is going to be receiving a lot of experiences not commonly offered. The unit plans on returning to New River once the exercise is complete.