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    A Maintainer's Perspective at Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 2-16

    Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 2-16

    Photo By Senior Airman Matthew Garcia | A U.S. Marine assigned to the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, 3rd Marine...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Matthew Garcia 

    3d Audiovisual Squadron

    MARINE AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - 9,500 pounds of metal stand idle, awaiting a crew of several Marines to transform it into a mechanized war machine.

    The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing attended Integrated Training Exercise 2-16 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty-Nine Palms, California. ITX is a pre-deployment phase that most Marines undergo prior to deploying. With training as the focus, ITX consists of all components that make up a Marine Air Ground Task Force.

    “We incorporate the commanding element, logistics combat element, ground combat element and the air combat element; all four makeup a MAGTAF,” said Cpl. Christopher B. Eliff, crew chief, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “There are other training operations that we conduct but they don’t incorporate the ground as much as ITX does.”

    ITX is meant to bring a different aspect to Marine Divisions that is not always available at their home stations. Out on the range and in the airfield, Marines experience conditions similar to deployments such as live fire action and being away from home.

    “One big difference is we deal with ordinance on the aircraft,” said Sgt. Taylor Green, flight line mechanic, HMLA-369, 3rd MAW.“We are able to treat this just like we would a deployment.”

    MAGTF consists of several components. One of those components is the air combat element. In this particular ITX, HMLA-369 uses both the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Huey aircrafts. The Squadron is on 24-hour duty, working 12-hour shifts both day and night.

    “The turnaround from here compared to Camp Pendleton is huge” said Sgt. Joseph J. Foley, flight line mechanic, HMLA-369, 3rd MAW. “When you come out here with your unit you’re no longer going back home to yourself. Here when we work together for 12 hours a day, we go home together for 12 hours. We’re doing everything together which builds that camaraderie that the Marine Corps and the Marines need so that when we deploy, we know we have each other’s backs.”

    With all the prior training that Marines experience, they are able to put it in to action and test their readiness for a deployment. Most importantly, ITX enables them to prepare both physically and mentally for the deployment, making it unique compared to other operations throughout the Marine Corps.



    Date Taken: 01.28.2016
    Date Posted: 02.19.2016 04:39
    Story ID: 189258

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