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Lance Cpl. Kel Clark::r::::n::Air operation Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 conduct hot fuels on an Army Apache at Fort Stewart Army Base in Hinesville, Ga., Dec. 7. The Sweathogs of MWSS-273 was aboard Fort Stewart for their yearly field training exercise called Battle Hog.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kel Clark

MWSS-273 sweathogs get down and dirty

18 Dec 2009 | Lance Cpl. Kel Clark

Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 returned from Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., after completing a field training exercise called Battle Hog, Dec. 11 and 12.

Battle Hog is an exercise MWSS-273 conducts every year to enable its troops with the ability to perform their Military Occupational Specialty jobs in a combat environment, unlike what is available aboard the
Air Station.

The Sweathogs were at Fort Stewart for nine days carrying out their mission and returned earlier than their prescribed date of Dec. 15 due to the severe weather forecasted.

In fact, the entire time spent at Battle Hog was under a cautious-weather umbrella. Rain and cold weather deterred the squadron from completing all of the planned training, however, the squadron met all of their mission objectives.

“We had 14 objectives we needed to meet while participating in the exercise in order to qualify as a Marine wing support squadron,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Regan, the commanding officer for MWSS-273. “While we were out there, we met all 14 of them in addition to completing a series of other tasks as well. The exercise was a complete success for us.”

The squadron’s units were able to see how each of their jobs is vital to the squadron’s operations in a field environment.
The motor transportation unit of MWSS-273 conducted convoys, the explosive ordnance disposal section did live explosion demonstrations and allowed other Marines to observe their demonstrations, and a platoon of military police members set up entry control posts for the training site.

In addition to their occupational duties, the Sweathogs also went to several firing ranges and shot the M240G, M16A2 and M16A4 service rifles, the M9 service pistols, the M249SAW and the M204G and participated in table three shooting.

During the exercise, the commanding officer of Marine Wing Support Group 27 at Cherry Point, N.C., Col. Stephen Kirkpatrick, came to examine each of the squadron’s units’ activities and spent two days in the field with them. Four Marine wing support squadrons: MWSS-271, MWSS-272, MWSS-273 and MWSS-274, fall under MWSG-27. The other three squadrons are stationed in North Carolina.

“While he was here, (Kirkpatrick) was able to talk to the Marines and hear what their thoughts were about the squadron, and with him being in North Carolina, we do not have the opportunity to see him much,” Regan said. “He was able to see our professional proficiency as a squadron. It was beneficial to have been with him. He enjoyed being here and we were happy to have him.”

The Sweathogs also utilized some of the Army’s assets such as their ECP simulators and a motor transport vehicle simulator.

“The entire exercise was a culminating point for MWSS-273,” said Capt. Marvin Goodwin, the company commander for MWSS-273 and the camp commandant for Battle Hog. “It was quite a sight to see it all come together. I felt that every Marine who participated with Battle Hog left with a sense of pride and accomplishment for having served with MWSS-273.”