News Icon

News: Marines execute mock rescue mission, culminates Exercise Mailed Fist

Story by Cpl. Tyler J. BolkenSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Exercise Mailed Fist: 2nd Marine Aircraft Marines execute TRAP mission Sgt. Tyler J. Bolken

Capt. Nick M. Korent, a simulated downed pilot, quenches his thirst after rushing into a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366, as part of a training Tactical Recovery of Aircraft or Personnel mission in the North Carolina Croatan National Forest, June 22. Korent, an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot, and native of Houlton, Wis., said being in the role of the rescued pilot really put the training in perspective. The Marine Corps’ most recent high profile TRAP mission was in rescue of a downed U.S. Air Force pilot in Libya, March 2011, and the missions are unique to the Marine Corps because of its ability to act on a moment’s notice anywhere in the world. The training TRAP mission June 22 concluded Exercise Mailed Fist, a week-long large-scale exercise launched by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing to refine the Marine Corps’ East Coast aviation elements.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – Hiding in the humid, dense forest of eastern North Carolina June 22, Capt. Nick M. Korent, posing as a downed U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot, found himself in a situation of survival, something pilots fear but train for – as was the case with Korent this day during a scenario-driven Tactical Recovery of Personnel or Aircraft training exercise.

This was the culminating operation of Mailed Fist, a week-long large-scale exercise geared toward training the Marine Corps’ East Coast aviation elements for its many missions, including moments like this.

During this scenario, Korent was in a hostile, unfamiliar environment, with little food, water and means of protection, but the radio in his hand provided a lifeline to a virtual air wing of support. Help was on its way.

Though not clearly visible, a team of nearly every model of aircraft in the Marine Corps’ arsenal was in the sky above Korent, including AV-8B Harriers and helicopter gunships that provided close-air support, an EA-6B Prowler to provide an electronic umbrella against foreign threats, a KC-130J Hercules to refuel the supporting aircraft and an MV-22B Osprey to serve as a back-up to two CH-53E Super Stallions. It was one of those Super Stallions that landed in a small clearing to pick Korent up. This escalating scenario tested one of Exercise Mailed Fist’s primary goals.

“This size exercise with these types of operations refines our aviation elements’ ability to operate together,” said Col. Kevin M. Iiams, the Aviation Combat Element commander for Exercise Mailed Fist. “We can never forecast what’s going to happen.”

The Marine Corps’ most recent high profile TRAP mission was in rescue of a downed U.S. Air Force pilot in Libya, March 2011.

“TRAP missions are one of the most important things we train for,” said Korent, an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 and native of Houlton, Wis. “We don’t leave anyone of our own behind.”

In recent years, the Marine Corps has not been doing large-scale exercises like this one because of the focus on combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, explained Iiams, a native of New Orleans. It’s important to the Wing’s and Marine Corps’ mission because it integrates Marine aviation into integrated missions for large-force employment.

“The Marines are able to see all the other functions we do and haven’t been able to do,” said Iiams. “This exposes us to the rest of the spectrum of missions we could expect to do, should we go other places in the world.”

Some of the week’s major operations included a battalion-sized assault with more than 500 Marines at Camp Lejeune, a raid on an objective and the June 22 TRAP.

“Exercise Mailed Fist is another measure so that no matter what mission comes up the future, we have seen it and experienced it,” said Iiams. “We can focus on that, increase our training and capability in that area – then succeed in combat in that area.”


Connected Media
ImagesExercise Mailed Fist:...
Capt. Nick M. Korent, a simulated downed pilot, quenches...
ImagesExercise Mailed Fist:...
Capt. Nick M. Korent, a simulated downed pilot, rushes...
ImagesExercise Mailed Fist:...
Two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters from Marine Heavy...
ImagesExercise Mailed Fist:...
A UH-1N Huey helicopter from Marine Light Attack...
ImagesExercise Mailed Fist:...
An AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter from Marine Light...
ImagesExercise Mailed Fist:...
An AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter from Marine Light...


Web Views
537
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Marines execute mock rescue mission, culminates Exercise Mailed Fist, by Sgt Tyler J. Bolken, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:06.27.2012

Date Posted:06.27.2012 09:38

Location:MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC, USGlobe

Hometown:NEW ORLEANS, LA, US

More Like This

  • The first wave of Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) departed Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in the early morning Feb. 9.
  • Civilian employees at Cherry Point’s Marine Corps Aviation Training System play an integral role in maintaining 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s combat readiness.
  • Brig. Gen. Thomas recently arrived aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point from the Pentagon, where he served as the assistant deputy commandant for Marine aviation. Thomas is an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot by trade and native of Austin, Texas, where he graduated from the University of Texas in 1984.
  • Use it or lose it. Marines practice their warfighting skills on a nearly daily basis with that basic tenet in mind. One way 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing pilots, and those of every military branch, keep their shooting and bombing skills sharp is on two bombing targets east of Cherry Point.
The ranges, known as BT-9 and BT-11, fall under the administration of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. The range’s primary purpose is to provide adequate training facilities for tenant units performing live-fire training exercises. The ranges have been active since Cherry Point’s birth during World War II.

“It provides a ready asset close by for them to conduct their training,” said Mark Condra, the supervisor of the range. “All kinds of aircraft and even some ground troops come to practice air support. It provides the opportunity to do integrated operations or joint operations.”

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr