OKINAWAI, Japan -- U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), III Marine Information Group (MIG), conducted helicopter rope suspension techniques (HRST) at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan on Oct. 12, 2018.
HRST training helps Marines to sharpen their fast rope and rappelling techniques. In doing so, they learn more effective ways to land faster and safer from any aircraft to the observation point.
“HRST allows us quick access to rooftops, observation points and allows the Marine Air Ground Task Force quick firepower on the dot,” said Staff Sgt. Damon Estes, a firepower control team leader for 5th ANGLICO, III MIG, III MEF.
According to Estes, Marines had to execute movements with no hesitation. Focus was the only thing needed in order to execute the training.
“Our main focus was to build our skills,” said Estes, who is a native of Athens, Ohio. “We wanted to get our Marines comfortable with fast roping, so when we implement this on a live training event with a helicopter we are able to safely and efficiently execute.”
As the training continued, the Marines executed techniques more proficiently, allowing them to conduct the movements faster and with more ease.
“When Marines first confront the rope they get a bit nervous,” said Lance Cpl. Boden Fish, a field radio operator with 5th ANGLICO III MIG, III MEF. “But then they realize they have no other choice but to do it, and by the time they reach the floor they no longer have that fear.”
In the event of needing Marines where aircraft cannot land, the training the Marines receive from HRST will allow them to reach those areas by rappelling and continue the mission.
“This training allows us to be inserted into places helicopters and other aircraft can`t land” said Fish, a native of Simran, New Mexico. “It allows us to move down mountain faces and difficult terrain.”
5th ANGICO ensures to execute the III MIG mission statement of being the supporting arms liaison of MAGTF operations.