News: Marine Officers leading the way with fast rope concept training
Story by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Marines are transitioning from their counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan and redirecting more of their attention back to seaborne crisis response in the Pacific.
Helping make this possible are 50 Marines who are currently awaiting training in the Infantry Officers Course by participating in a proof-of-concept exercise for tactical employment for the MV-22 Osprey in future operations. The training took place at in a remote location referred to as Landing Zone Cockatoo on Feb. 6.
“The MV-22 is vastly superior to what the Marine Corps had before,” said Capt. Jason Deane, an instructor for Infantry Officer Course. “However the Osprey has its limitations. The Osprey needs about a football field length of space to land.”
To remedy this issue, the Marines are testing to see if using fast rope tactics could be done while wearing a full combat load of up to 70 pounds.
“The exercise today is just another building block that will prepare them for the ultimate end state of the training,” Deane said. “This (exercise) is all about confidence: confidence in themselves, their gear, the Marines around them and the Ospreys.”
Marines first got started a week ago at a 50 feet tall repel tower, where they learned the basics in body positioning and movement.
With the basics down, the Marines the experienced fast roping out of a MV-22 Osprey.
“It happens so fast you don’t have time to think,” said 2nd Lt. Edward Lynn. “The training is made so that you don’t have to think. You know what to do when you grab that rope.”
After a day of successful training, Deane complemented the Marines on their success and told them to prepare for the training ahead; fast rope tactics under cover of darkness.
“Nothing changes,” Deane said. “All of the basics still apply. The only difference is there’s no light.”
The culminating event for these Marine officers will come in March when they load into the MV-22 Osprey, fly to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and insert with all of their gear using fast rope tactics and conduct a night raid on a Military Operations in Urban Terrain facility.
“This is the direction the Marine Corps is heading,” Dean said in closing to his Marines. “These tactics that we are developing here will become the way the Marine Corps conducts its amphibious landings.”