Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
The war in Afghanistan is not fought by Marines alone. All of the U.S. Armed Forces work together to complete the nation’s mission.
Airmen with the 210th Air Rescue Squadron have been training alongside Marines during their Enhance Mojave Viper cycle since they touched down March 14, 2012 at the expeditionary airfield in their Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.
The Anchorage, Alaska–based squadron arrived shortly after sunset. The C-17 was loaded up with about 40 airmen, two HH-60 Pave Hawks and all the equipment they would need for their 10-day training cycle.
“This exercise gave us a unique opportunity to work with the Marines who we will be working with down range,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Latham, operations officer, 210th RQS.
“We’re always looking for different branches to come out here,” added Glenn Helm, joint air planner, Tactical Training Exercise Control Group.
Helm said the squadron’s visit here is the first of hopefully many.
The 210th RQS, along with Marines from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment; 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion; and 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, supported EMV and practiced their medical evacuation capabilities. They also joined in on several integrated assaults with the Marine ground elements.
Latham said most of his airmen have never had any contact with Marines, and there was initially a bit of a language barrier to overcome.
“In the past, we’ve worked with the Army in Kandahar and Bagram in previous deployments, but every service does things a little bit differently,” Latham said. “Being able to integrate beforehand is important for our mission of getting an injured Marine out of an area and into medical care within an hour.”
The airmen of 210th RQB’s last day of training with the Marines was today, and they said they look forward in teaming up with the same Marines during their deployment to Afghanistan later this year.