MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Many Marines across the Corps have deployed to Haiti to support relief efforts. The Air Station had its chance to pitch in.
Three Fightertown Marines were tasked with a mission to fly two Marine Forces South liaison Marines to Haiti, Jan. 25. They were there in order to support relief efforts and gather information to report to MARFOR South.
Major Charles Kelly and Capt. Brian Wilson, pilots with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, along with Cpl. Stephen Marksberry, a crew chief for H&HS, carried out this six-hour mission with success.
“We planned on staying there just a short amount of time so we didn’t clog (the runway),” Kelly said.
With a high traffic flow from relief forces arriving and departing from Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the Fightertown Marines were only able to drop off their passengers and leave.
“Due to the fact that there were so many aircraft coming in and out and all the people on the airfield, we didn’t stay long,” Marksberry said.
Even with the crew’s short stay in Haiti, the relief atmosphere still provided them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“You can see it all on the news, but you don’t really know what it’s like until you see it first hand.” Marksberry said.
The mission, originally given to Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., was given to Fightertown with only three days notice. The crew’s ability to work over the weekend on flight plans and obtain prior permission to fly proves that Marines are always ready to answer the call.
“I think it was a good experience for the crew involved,” Kelly said. “It was a good demonstration that C-12 (Huron) units from Marine Corps Installation East are ready to go, and we can do whatever we are tasked with.”
The crew’s mission was a success, and they are ready and willing to help in the future.
“Our (C-12 Huron) is open to any mission to support the relief efforts in Haiti,” Marksberry said. “Give us the word and we’ll go.”