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NEWS | Feb. 5, 2015

Osprey Offers New Experience for Philippine, U.S. Marines during Fast-rope Insertions

By Staff Sgt. Joseph Digirolamo, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

Philippine Marine Capt. Capt. Rogin Toledo has had a fair share of fast-roping experience, but the same operation from a tiltrotor aircraft like the MV-22B Osprey is anything but routine.

“The last time I have done this type of training was six years ago, and it was off of a tower,” said Toledo, commanding officer for the 65th Philippine Marine Company, Philippine Marine Corps. “Fast-roping out of the Osprey was a thrill because it was about 30 or 40 feet in the air, and the blast from the Osprey was pushing you away.”

He and others joined their U.S. Marine counterparts to execute a bilateral fast-roping exercise Jan. 22 here as part of Aviation Assault Support Exercise 15.1.

The Ospreys, with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, enable fast insertion into environments where landing the aircraft is not practical or desired. The fast-rope system is located in the rear of the Osprey so that the lowered ramp facilitates egress. 

U.S. Marines like Cpl. Martin A. Argueta, a squad leader for Company I, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, worked closely with the Philippine Marines to safely complete this type of training.

“Fast-roping out of an Osprey isn’t really the same as fast-roping out of a normal helicopter because we don’t go through the ‘hell-hole’, which is in the center of the helicopter; we are coming out of the back ramp,” said Argueta, from Yuma, Arizona. “To me that’s new because I have never jumped out of the back ramp. So it’s something new to them, as well as us.”

After working with his Marines to safely and successfully execute the event, Argueta has confidence they can perform their jobs efficiently while training with the Philippine Marines.

“I think it is awesome that my guys know their stuff and then the Filipino Marines can show us how they do it differently so we can compare our tactics afterwards,” said Argueta. “This builds our confidence and shows that we can properly communicate those infantry skills (together).”

Toledo hopes to work with his U.S. counterparts again in the near future.

“We enjoy working with the U.S. Marines and we appreciate that we are able to do this with them,” said Toledo, from Zamboanga City, the Philippines.

AASE expands and promotes cooperative training opportunities with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to enhance core skill proficiency and increase operational readiness.

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