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    Marine Corps pilots provide critical support during Northern Edge

    U.S. Marines KC-130J Hercules refuel an F-35B Lightening II during Exercise Northern Edge 19

    Photo By Sgt. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez | U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Ezekiel Cary, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez 

    Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

    Joint participants gathered to execute and support flying, ground and naval operations for exercise Northern Edge 2019 (NE19) at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 13-24.

    The exercise hosts approximately 10,000 personnel, 200 aircraft and 11 vessels between the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Each aircraft has designated personnel to secure the correct use, protocols and maintenance of the aircraft, while also ensuring the safety of all parties and equipment involved.

    Ensuring the success of the exercises and missions requires various supporting elements. One of those elements is aerial refueling.

    For the crew of a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules, aerial refueling was just one of their missions during NE19.

    “We are usually the first ones up there,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Ezekiel Cary, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) co-pilot, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. “The jets will find us when they are ready to refuel and allow them to continue their mission.”

    To pilot a KC-130J Hercules, it requires a team to know the ins and outs of the aircraft in any situation and each member trusting each other’s knowledge and experience.

    U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Alberto Ruiz II, VMGR-152 crew master, emphasized the importance of teamwork and how each crew member holds a purpose and responsibility.

    He elaborated by saying the pilot and co-pilot control the flying aspect as well as communicate with surrounding aircraft and air traffic control. During a refueling mission, pilots will also communicate with the receiving aircraft.

    The job of a crew master is to communicate with their pilots on the status of the aircraft, as well as performing periodic inflight checks. Crew masters observe the refuel and the cockpit gauge control of the aircraft, to make sure the fuel is being transferred and received correctly and safely.

    “Safety is our main priority,” said Ruiz. “Before, during and after flight we’re constantly checking up on the systems and functions of the aircraft.”

    NE19 displays the importance of conducting joint exercises to develop interoperability between the services. No matter how small the task, the rank on the uniform or what branch the service member belongs to, every job contributes to accomplishing the mission.



    Date Taken: 05.18.2019
    Date Posted: 05.28.2019 20:38
    Story ID: 323187

    Web Views: 83
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