MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii -- Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 participated in an integrated training event in which they used their aircraft to play the antagonist in a simulated exercise against army ground units, July 9th, 2020.
The exercise, titled “Lightning Forge,” was conducted by the HMLA-367 and the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division. The exercise provided the opportunity to strengthen the cohesion between the two branches and enhance their interoperability.
“Today was a good exercise for communicating with other armed forces, so we identified some points of friction, different languages that are used across the different armed forces,” said 1st Lt. Cristov Dorsev, a UH-1Y pilot with HMLA-367. “It taught everyone a good lesson about the importance of pre-flight planning and getting on the same page with certain tactics.”
Even in the rough weather, the crew had good communication on board the UH-1Y amongst the pilots and crew chiefs, said Dorsev in regards to the communication on board their own aircraft.
Everyone on board the UH-1Y has their own specific job that keeps the helicopter flying, ensuring mission accomplishment.
“My job directly was to help keep our section correlated with the movement of aircraft and simulated attacks,” said Cpl. Tyler Archambeault, a UH-1Y crew chief with HMLA-367. “Everything went pretty well, especially having a Gunnery Sergeant on the other side of the aircraft with the junior pilot and myself. We have a solid couple of senior guys.”
Staff noncommissioned officers fill a critical role as working supervisors aboard the aircraft.
“One of the biggest jobs in the back as crew chiefs is to be the eyes, the ears behind us, to the sides, and the places pilots can’t see, as well as shooting guns when necessary,” said Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Basan, a UH-1Y crew chief gunner with HMLA-367. Basan also highlighted the value in the training with the Army.
“Overall, we integrated well with the Army,” Basan said. “We provided some good [opposition force] air for them, and gave them some good learning points that they can take to the next exercise with them.”