MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
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.”