MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 conducted a casualty evacuation exercise at Landing Zone Penguin at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 10.
The training enhanced combat readiness and gave Marines with 2nd CEB the experience of conducting nine-line CASEVAC calls in a fast paced environment, while integrating with aviation assets.
“The importance of the training is that when something goes wrong, the Marines on the ground should be able to call in a nine-line efficiently, and know what to expect from us,” said Capt. Edward Proulx, a pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365.
When Marines are deployed on a Marine Expeditionary Unit around the world, it’s important to be comfortable conducting CASEVAC’s because you never know what can happen. Marines are the first responders to any crisis around the area they go to, from evacuating an embassy to invading a country, said Sgt. Andrew Collaso, a crew chief with VMM-365.
A big thing to keep in mind when conducting a CASEVAC is for the Marines on the ground to be able to communicate with the pilots clearly, said Proulx. Once they tell them where they are, the Marines on the ground can count on the pilots to be on their way.
Marines often use MV-22 Ospreys to conduct CASEVAC’s due to the speed at which they can travel, said Proulx.
“As a crew chief, one of my main concerns is safety,” said Collaso. “There are a lot of moving parts, we are clearing the aircraft coming down to make sure no one is underneath it and make sure everyone is strapped on, including the evacuee.”
Marines are constantly training and enhancing their methods while doing so, which allows them to identify what needs to be done in a real-life scenario in order to minimize risks.
“Having things pre-staged, ready to go, makes everything go a lot quicker,” said Proulx. “Having a good system to move that Marine from point A to point B is what we are looking for in the little things that make an operation like this happen.”