Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort --
Marine Air Control Squadron 2, Detachment A, conducted training with the Marine Air Traffic Control Mobile Team aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Nov. 12.
In order to prepare Marines for operations, the detachment used the Air Station runways to set up an Assault Landing Zone and issue radio calls to participating C-130’s from the Georgia Air National Guard 165th Airlift Wing.
“The primary objective for this training is for us to setup an expeditionary airfield,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Goco, the MMT leader for MACS-2, Detachment A. “This allows us to recover C-130 operations. If we are in an austere environment we need to provide chow or any other gear Marines need.”
Expeditionary airfields are intended to be quickly setup for temporary use in unforgiving environments.
The mission of the exercise was to train Marines in the employment of air traffic control services for Assault Landing Zones.
“As a six-man team we need to be as efficient as possible,” said Goco. “We have to make as little noise as possible, and that’s one thing this training helps with. The low noise level is to teach the Marines that the less noise they make, the less likely they would reveal their location. This also helps us create better communication with other squadrons.”
The commander’s intent was for the six-man team to learn what each specialty would bring to the table.
“The key aspect that I want the Marines to take away from this exercise is teamwork [and] communication,” said Goco. “They will also be learning how to take the information that they are gaining from the pilot’s approaches, and how they can reference that information back to him.”
The exercise didn’t just teach the Marines communications; air traffic controllers were also introduced to the physical aspect of their job.
“This introduced me to how important it is to work with Marines in other Military Occupational Specialty fields in order to accomplish a mission,” said Sgt. Rafael Nepaulsingh, an air traffic controller for MACS-2. “In an exercise like this it’s important to see what the communications and the technician Marines do for the sake of the mission.”
Several months prior to deploying, units around the Marine Corps perform various training exercises with other MOS fields to prepare them for what lies ahead. “This is our workup for what we need to do when we deploy,” Nepaulsingh said. “It helps prepare our minds for this aspect of our job, and reminds us why we need to maintain our readiness at all times.”
MACS-2 is able to perform this training exercise every month to prepare their Marines for situations they may encounter while deployed.