Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
ATG Marines and airmen with the 129th Rescue Squadron, California Air National Guard, Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif., worked together in conducting a simulated downed aircraft exercise at Range 220 Dec. 13.
The Advisor Training Group’s mission is to advise, mentor, and train foreign military, police and border units in operational techniques and procedures to combat terrorism and counter insurgencies. Simply put, to train other forces to be able to defend themselves and conduct counter terrorism.
The success of their work is evident in the current transitional phase in the Middle East, as U.S. forces begin to draw back and allow the Afghan National Forces to take their place and defend their country from the insurgencies that have plagued them.
The airmen’s downed helo scenario resulted in a simulated casualty. The crew members had to deal with their medical situation as well as account for their items, escape and evade in the urban environment and set up a landing zone for extraction.
The crew was originally told they were going to provide support to another aircraft that was downed, said Air National Guard Lt. Col. Tom Roberts, commander, 129th Rescue Squadron. They had no clue whatsoever they were going to be the ones in need of the support.
They drove around in a van, simulating a helicopter, waiting to rescue their comrades in the exercise. All of a sudden there was a large explosion by the side of the road followed by a call over the radio informing them they were hit.
They had a casualty with a fracture in both his left leg and right arm, making it difficult to move him around. They drew away from the wreckage and made efforts to provide aid for their wounded as well as calling in another bird to a landing zone to evacuate.
As they tried to make contact with their sister ship, the airmen maneuvered through the range’s military operations on urban terrain town and came into contact with Marines who aided them in their mission.
“It worked out well for us because otherwise we would just play with our own crew, trying to afford our own rescue,” Roberts said.
They provided security for the crew against enemy contact as they all made their way to the LZ.
With the help of the Marines, the airmen were all able to make their way to the HH-60 Jayhawk at the LZ and draw back from the area.
In addition to the work done overseas, ATG’s work at the Combat Center builds the tactical proficiencies of other national and international forces training on the base, including the Air National Guard.