CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group conducted helicopter support team training at Landing Zone Kite aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 10-13.
The purpose of the exercise was to give the company’s Marines a chance to practice their trade in a field environment.
The Marines tackled the tedious task of connecting cargo to a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter using a sling as it hovered mere feet above their heads.
“Our job is dangerous, but that is what this training is for,” said Cpl. John E. Wisniewski, a landing support specialist with CLR-27. “We come out here and get as much practice as we can, so nothing bad happens.”
A landing support specialist’s job, in this case, is done within 15 seconds under ideal circumstances. From grounding the hook on the bottom of the helicopter to take off, the process is meant to be streamlined, explained Sgt. Kip Buedel, a platoon staff noncommissioned officer in charge with LS Co.
“You want to do it as fast as possible,” Buedel said. “We have many jobs to do on the flight line, and they’re crucial to the rest of the Marines out there.”
Landing support specialists’ responsibilities include moving vital supplies like pallets of food and water, Marine artillery weapons, such as M777 Howitzers, and small vehicles.
Numerous things can go wrong while standing under the helicopter, from electrocution to the hitch swinging into a Marine. The seriousness of the job isn’t hard to grasp.
“A big part of our job is safety,” said Wisniewski. “You have to learn how to work as a team, it makes the job easier.
“If you look out for each other the job will go smooth. Whoever you are working with is going to have your back, so you need to be comfortable.”
With practice comes comfort, so the company’s platoons conduct approximately 10 helicopter support team training cycles every month to hone their skills.