News: Ace support takes Enhanced Mojave Viper by storm
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 “Ace Support” conducted training during Enhanced Mojave Viper aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., June 5 and 6.
The training missions consisted of establishing, operating and protecting a Forward Arming and Refueling Point. A FARP is used as an expeditious way to supply aircraft with weapons and fuel to keep them closer to troops operating in remote areas.
“The purpose of the entire exercise is to ensure Marines scheduled for future support of Operation Enduring Freedom are trained and prepared for their level three training in order to deploy,” said 1st Lt. Isaac Cortes, the FARP mission commander with MWSS-373 and a Mastic Beach, N.Y., native.
Part of this training was to create the FARP site from scratch using heavy machinery and combat engineers’ skills to build watch towers and surround the site with concertina wire.
“The benefits [this environment provides] are similar to the austere environments in Afghanistan where these Marines may be deploying to,” said Cortes. “The terrain is very similar; the climate is very similar so the Marines grow accustomed to the conditions.”
Working in this environment allows the Marines to mentally prepare for the hardships they will face while deployed. As part of this acclimatization, the Marines must perform all aspects of their mission.
This mission includes the second part of training – site security.
“We set up obstacles, concertina wire, guard towers and serpentine road blocks on the entry ways in to and out of the training area,” said Cortes.
Should these obstacles fail to fend off any would-be attackers, the Marines receive lessons on crew served weapons.
“We wanted to get [these Marines] educated on crew served weapons like the M240B, the SAW, .50 caliber machine guns and the MK-19 should they be needed to deploy,” said Master Sgt. Ronnie Smith, the ACE Support squadron master sergeant and a Mt. Olive, La., native. “These Marines have received the training necessary to break down and clean the weapons and maintain them for further use if needed.”
To test the Marines willingness and ability to protect the site, role-players engaged the defenses to see how the FARP Marines react to local nationals, explained Pfc. Ethan Foote, a combat engineer with MWSS-373 and an East Glacier, Mont., native.
“After all of this training I feel [prepared] to go in country,” said Foote.
From prepping and building a FARP to protecting it, the Marines of MWSS-373 are now prepared for their part of the mission while deployed.
Date Posted:06.08.2012 16:41
Location:MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA, US
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