News: Adapt, overcome; VMM-165, CLB-1 perform external lifts
Story by Lance Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Marines with Combat Logistic Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistic Squadron stay low to the ground as to not get blown away by the winds of an MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
As the Osprey hovers and sways, the Marines on the ground connect a large cement block to the bottom of the aircraft to carry away externally. The crew chief relays to the pilot that it is ready and the flight captain signals to take off.
VMM-165 and CLB-1 train for an instance when they may have to quickly move cargo from place to place.
“Externals are a way to rapidly lift loads and drop off loads in an area where we can’t land,” said Capt. David Thiessen, a pilot with VMM-165 and a Springfield, Va., native. “For that reason, they are not overly common to do.”
Marines on the ground become familiar with battling high winds and rotor wash while connecting cargo to the pendulum. They must work as teams to make sure the cargo is connected quickly. Crew chiefs are responsible for hanging and controlling a pendulum through an open hatch in the bottom of the aircraft during transport.
As the aircraft lowers, it is crucial to maintain positive control of all cargo during transportation to ensure the safety of all air crew.
“We notify pilots of the condition of the load on the pendulum,” said Lance Cpl. Collin Wolfe, a crew chief with VMM-165, 3rd MAW and a Fort Myers, Fla., native. “We give calls on where it’s swaying, from left to right or [forward and backward].”
These exercises are necessary for both the Marines on the ground and in the air and ensure operations run smoothly in a scenario where external lifts are necessary.
In addition to this training, there are systems built into the Osprey to make sure pilots do not stretch the boundaries of its structural limits, explained Theissen.
Training with other units makes certain that each Marine involved in a mission will be well-trained and ready to accomplish the task.
Date Posted:09.20.2012 19:29
Location:MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, CA, US
Hometown:FORT MYERS, FL, US
Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US
Hometown:SPRINGFIELD, VA, US