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Recovery Marines Install M-31 Arresting Gear

By Cpl. Joseph Abrego | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | Sept. 11, 2017

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Marines with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aircraft recovery conducted an annual certification on M-31 Marine Corps Expeditionary Aircraft arresting gear at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 8, 2017.

After being removed for maintenance, the Marines installed the arresting gear and ensured it was functioning properly.

“The training was our annual certification of the M-31 arresting gear,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Butler, an aircraft recovery Marine with H&HS. “The purpose was to ensure the gear is ready to take an arrestment at any time and be able to be deployed at a moment’s notice wherever it is needed.”

The M-31 arresting gear is one of two types of arresting gear used on the air station, which offers different benefits than the E-28 arresting gear.

“One benefit to using the M-31 arresting gear is how reliable it is,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kevin Becker, an aircraft recovery Marine with H&HS. “It can also handle rapid cycle arrestments if necessary when we are forward deployed.”

In addition to the benefits the M-31 arresting gear offers, unlike the E-28 arresting gear, it is mobile and has the capability of being installed when forward deployed to continue supporting operations.

“The M-31 is currently a permanent installation,” said Butler. “If any situation arises where we need the gear at any point in time, we can pull the gear up and deploy anywhere in the world.”

The annual certification offers Marines an opportunity to get hands on with the equipment and maintain efficiency with the operation of the machine.

“This type of training is significant because it gets us acquainted with the gear and tests our knowledge,” said Butler. “If a situation is encountered during training, we can learn the proper techniques on how to fix it for when we are deployed.”

Marines with aircraft recovery will continue to train and prepare for every situation that arises to include the daily air station operations.

“The biggest thing I want Marines to take away from this training is that it’s completely applicable in a real-world scenario,” said Butler. “They need to understand all aspects of the gear and be ready when called upon to install it without delay.”
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