CHERRY POINT, N.C. - This week, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing is conducting a large-scale training exercise dubbed “Mailed Fist,” designed to hone the capabilities of the Marine Corps’ East Coast aviation element.
The wing is conducting training evolutions in North and South Carolina to demonstrate and refine the wing’s ability to perform the functions of Marine aviation.
Exercise Mailed Fist provides 2nd MAW Marines with the experience to successfully perform assault support, anti-aircraft warfare, offensive air support, electronic warfare, control of aircraft and missiles, and aerial reconnaissance.
Through dozens of training events, Marines are rehearsing casualty evacuation, aerial refueling, rapid ground refueling, rescue missions, air assaults, heavy-lift maneuvers, and field carrier landings, among others.
Additionally, Marine F/A-18 Hornet pilots at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., are taking part in the Marine Division Tactics Course, a graduate level study in aerial warfare designed to prepare the aviators for the weapons and tactics instructor course at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
Among Mailed Fist’s major training maneuvers, Marines conducted a battalion assault at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Monday, moving more than 500 Marines with nearly 20 aircraft. Marines with 2nd Marine Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment from Camp Lejeune partnered with four 2nd MAW squadrons employing MV-22B Ospreys and CH-53E Super Stallions to transport the Marines. UH-1N Hueys and AH-1W Cobras from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 will provide overwatch.
On Tuesday, Marines launched a platoon raid on Piney Island, a bombing range in the Neuse River. The amphibious raid featured Marines from the 10th Marine Regiment and aircraft from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467, Marine Attack Squadron 223, and Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3.
A major mission of Exercise Mailed Fist is an air assault raid at Atlantic Field where Marines will attack via three fronts. A CH-53E Super Stallion will show off its heavy lift capability by conducting a “Soft Duck” mission, an aerial insert of four combat rubber reconnaissance crafts into the water. Paratroopers with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will conduct a high altitude, high opening insert from the sky to mark the second assault front. The final front will come as helicopters deliver troops.
One of the largest wing exercises in recent history, Mailed Fist will involve 2nd MAW units from every Marine aviation installation on the East Coast; MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.; MCAS New River, N.C.; and MCAS Beaufort, S.C.