TINIAN, Northern Mariana Island - Today marked the beginning of 24-hour surge operations on Guam and Tinian for Marines and sailors participating in Exercise Forager Fury 2012.
Surge operations are slated to last at least 80 hours and simulate a continuous operational tempo.
“Surge operations are basically Marine Aircraft Group 12 showing in force how they can do continuous flight operations in a simulated hostile environment,” said Master Sgt. Roy L. Clayton Jr., the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Marine forces on Tinian with Marine Wing support Squadron 171, MAG-12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “They are training to get the maximum amount of flights and we are training to provide the best aviation ground support possible.”
During the surge, MWSS-171 will provide support for various types of aircraft.
“We are expecting mostly FA-18s but we will also get some MH-60s from the Navy and some MV-22 Ospreys during surge operations,” said Clayton. “Surge operations should last for at least three to four days.”
In order to maintain a constant tempo, Marines and sailors will work in shifts to keep everybody fresh.
“We are going to do two rotational shifts at 12 hours each to give some of the Marines a break and bring fresh, well rested Marines in,” said Clayton.
Safety is the main priority for any Marine Corps exercise and FF12 is no different.
“For the upcoming surge event, our plan is to be within a two-minute standby time to be ready for any possible emergencies that the aircraft might have,” said Staff Sgt. Joaquin Moreno, an expeditionary airfield technician and runway supervisor with the squadron. “A two-minute standby is the time we are allotted during an in-flight emergency to have the arresting gear ready to take an emergency arrestment.”
With the Marines on Tinian providing aviation ground support to the aircraft out of Guam, the surge is sure to be a valued training experience for all involved.