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EL CENTRO – Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 conducted flight training at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro on July 16.
This training was part of a two-week detachment for training designed to help the Marines get ready for combat. The time spent in close proximity during training allows the crew to develop a bond and sense of understanding that can make them more effective in combat.
“Every time we go out as a crew we learn how we work,” said Cpl. Andrew Worley, a UH-1Y Venom crew chief with HMLA-267. “We learn the sounds of each other’s voices so if someone is stressed their voice will fluctuate and we can pick up on it.”
The training involved realistic scenarios that gave each member of the crew a greater understanding of what will be required of them and how their role fits into the mission as a whole.
“It’s good to see what it’s going to feel like and how it’s going to affect us,” said Worley. “This training helps because we can get used to the sort of fatigue we’ll experience and learn how to fight it.”
The day’s exercises involved multiple time-on-stations where pilots practiced firing rockets and implementing the other weapons on their aircraft. The pilots were scored on accuracy while firing on the large scale ranges at the facility.
“We want to hit steel on steel and if that doesn’t occur we know where to make our adjustments,” said 1st Lt. Daniel Lee, an AH-1Z Viper pilot with HMLA-267.
This training follows the Training and Readiness Manual, covering a wide range of information from weapon profiles to tactics.
“You’re never just focusing on one thing,” said Lee. “You’re a master of everything.”
During the training, pilots and enlisted air crew practiced every stage of the mission process including creating flight profiles, controlling the communications, and employing the various weapons aboard the aircraft.
“Seeing their plan on paper and then applying it to the real world takes a lot of practice,” said Worley.
Worley added that the squadron’s main focus is being able to provide effective support to help the Marines on the ground.
Published: July 24, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 15