Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462 supported training conducted by the Air Force’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training Center with the Nellis Air Force Base Nev., training detachment at Nellis Feb. 19 through March 4.
This training afforded both branches the opportunity to work together, simulating a forward-deployed atmosphere where joint operations frequently occur.
“Joint training exposes our planners and aircrew to tactics, techniques, and procedures that are not purely authentic to the Marine Corps,” said Maj. Jayson Welihan, the NAFBTD operations officer. “This friction forces us to think as a joint force and causes us to break out of the mindset that we are the only warriors in the battlespace.”
The training was educational for both the airmen and the Marines, providing unusual training that is not available at their respective duty stations.
“The evolutions were an exercise in hasty planning,” said Welihan. “The students and our crews were presented with a scenario and only given three hours to plan. Following planning, they had two hours to insert, execute and extract.”
NAFBTD not only focused on crews that physically flew the aircraft, but also aided the maintenance teams in their daily mission objectives.
“We have great pilots and great crew chiefs, but behind the scenes are the maintainers making sure the birds get in the air and stay there,” said Sgt. Brent Moffett, a HMH-462 avionicsman. “We have a lot of new maintainers and this gives them the opportunity to feel the fast-paced atmosphere we experience during training with other branches.”
Overall, the training provided new Marines the opportunity to grow and seasoned Marines a refresher on skills that will be necessary when forward-deployed.
“Our Marines worked long hours, in the cold, all with smiles on their faces,” said Welihan. “Two Air Force units came to our spaces on the final day to show their appreciation and recognition of the success that we had in support of their training. I could not be more proud of our squadron and the work that our Marines did on this detachment.”