Marines

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A Marine with CLB-2 guides a CH-53 Super Stallion during a helicopter support team exercise at Landing Zone Albatross aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 2, 2015. To maintain training and readiness standards, 2nd TSB conducts HST exercises at least twice a week. (Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler A. Andersen)

Photo by Cpl. Tyler Andersen

CLB-2 hones skills with HSTs

10 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Tyler Andersen II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 conducted a helicopter support team exercise at Landing Zone Albatross aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, September 2, 2015.

To maintain training and readiness standards, CLB-2 conducts HST exercises at least twice a week. The training allows helicopter support teams to practice loading and unloading cargo from a CH-53 Super Stallion without touching the ground.

“Performing HST exercises on an average of twice a week is great for my Marines because it allows them to hone their skills and maintain readiness,” said 1st Lt. Trenton Snody, a landing support platoon commander with CLB-2.

In real world events, this asset is critical to mission accomplishment because it provides the ability to quickly and efficiently provide support to Marines on the ground, loading and unloading important equipment such as small vehicles, supplies, and food rations in a moment’s notice, Snody said.

The Marines working underneath the Super Stallion all have critical roles in ensuring mission accomplishment, working together to attach the equipment on the ground to the helicopter while it hovers in the air about 10 feet above them.

“Training like this is good because it gets us out of the garrison mind set, and we’re able to focus on our mission without interruption,” said Sgt. Anthony Besso, a landing support platoon Sgt. with CLB-2. “When we work together all the time like this, we can perform at our best and it allows us constantly go over those important safety procedures.”

A Marine guides the pilot with hand and arm signals to the correct location, putting the bird directly above the cargo. While his job is to ensure the pilot knows what is going on underneath him, another Marine uses a tool to clear the area of static electricity before the other two Marines attach the cargo.

“When the equipment is safe and secure, the Marine signaling the pilot gives him a “thumbs up”, and the pilot is ready to take off,” Besso said. “Once it’s in the air, it circles around the LZ, and prepares for another round.”


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