PINEY ISLAND, N.C. --
Deployment is something that requires a lot of training leading up to it. Reviewing training many times over helps make the job come naturally while in a combat zone. This is why approximately 13 service members from 2nd and 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies spent May 8 and 9 at Piney Island, better known as Bombing Target 11, practicing radio communication in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
The service members departed from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and arrived at BT-11 in a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter the morning of May 8, where they practiced various simulated combat first aid scenarios. The majority of their training was focused on communicating with aircraft, and making sure the Marines knew how to direct air traffic and give pilots the correct coordinates of a target for attacking.
Sgt. Theodore K. Pernal, a Marine with 4th ANGLICO, explained to the team that it is vital to make sure everyone knows how to communicate on the radio, because if the main radio operator goes down in a combat environment, then everyone else still knows what to do.
The service members also spent many hours practicing different joint terminal air control situations, in which they communicated with attack aircrafts and made sure the pilots had the right coordinates for attacking.
“Basically JTAC is us talking to the pilots and making sure everyone knows where to fly and what targets each aircraft has,” Weinstein said. “We make sure the wrong targets aren’t bombed and that the helicopters and planes don’t fly into each other.”
According to many of the Marines from 2nd and 4th ANGLICO, they have been training for their upcoming deployment since the middle of last year. They also received fairly extensive medical training.
Sgt. Matthew H. Conway, a Marine with 4th ANGLICO, gave the team a class on how to properly give someone an intravenous injection of the battlefield. He said that there are times where the corpsman may not be available to help give everyone the treatment needed, so everyone needs to be able to give an IV injection if they need to on the spot. The Marines also went over how to properly insert a nasopharyngeal airway into one’s nose to open up an airway if necessary.
Conway and Pernal both placed importance on making sure every service member can all do each other’s job. They stressed that even though each Marine or sailor has their own specialized job, anyone can get injured in combat or be unavailable when needed. Both sergeants supervised their team to make sure everyone is comfortable doing every task needed.
The team took pride in doing their jobs well and trained until about 11 p.m. on May 8, and was back at it the next morning to make sure they were confident in their abilities.
The service members from 2nd and 4th ANGLICO are scheduled to deploy later this year.