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Landing support specialists with 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) try to hook a large bolder to a MV-22 Osprey during an exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 7, 2011. The boulder was supposed to simulate cargo that would be moved to a different location during an external resupply mission. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

In air, on land, at sea: landing support delivers

7 Jan 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Although it’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the Marine Corps, due to the fact that the risk of injury is among the highest in the military, landing support specialists put their lives on the line to get their fellow Marines’ and sailors’ supplies they need, no matter where they may be.

The inherent danger in these Marine’s daily duties is obvious at training events such as the exercise landing support specialist with 2nd Marine Logistics Group (FWD) took part in aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 7.

As the winds from a MV-22 Osprey kicked up dust, rocks and sticks, a six -man team rigged imitation cargo and waited for its return to the drop zone so they could unload, which simulated the import and export of external lifts.

This was one of the several times a month landing support specialist with the MLG practice this exercise in preparation to support combat operations in Afghanistan.

With the deployment approaching fast, there’s no such thing as too much practice, said Cpl. Joseph Hernendez, a landing support specialist with 2nd MLG (FWD).

“This isn’t something we don’t (normally) practice, we do this quite often,” said Hernendez. “But it’s one of those things, the more you come out here and do it, the better you are, and it’s good for the younger Marines.”

Practice is important when there are new Marines and reservists who may not be as seasoned as an active duty Marine, said Hernendez.

“We all know they are capable of doing the job,” he said. “But we all get rusty, everyone can use a refresher. Our job is too important to mess up.”

Landing support specialists play a large part in moving supplies and Marines to different places across the world and if not done correctly it could have a negative effect on everyone involve, added Hernendez, such as Marines not receiving food, ammo or medical supplies on time.

“We need to be on point whether we are deployed or here,” he said.

As the deployment approaches, Marines and sailors are working toward making essentials tasks, such as the job of a landing support specialist, a thing of ease.

Even though it’s dangerous, landing support Marines continue to train and better themselves while supplying Marines and Sailors all around the world.


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