Defense & National Security

Hangin’ loose with Lima: Marines fast-rope on urban terrain at MCTAB

Hangin' loose with Lima: Marines fast-rope on urban terrain at MCTAB
Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, rappel out of a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows’ Military Operations on Urban Terrain facility May 28, 2014 during Exercise Island Viper. (U.S. Marine photo by Cpl. Nathan Knapke)

MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA BELLOWS –Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, demonstrated their ability to fast-rope out of a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Hawaii during Exercise Island Viper, May 28, 2014.

Lima Company completed participation in the exercises’ “round robin” with the rest of the battalion’s companies today. The round robin consisted of three main sections of training, which included amphibious, live fire and urban training throughout the 15 training days of Exercise Island Viper.

Marines learned how to properly plan, rig and execute helicopter rope suspension techniques during the exercise.

“No one has ever fast-roped directly into the MOUT town before today,” said 1st Sgt. Chad Coston, Lima Company first sergeant with 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines.

“People told us several times that it couldn’t be done, but when you’re with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines long enough, it becomes obvious that we complete objectives that no one else can or wants to.”

Lima Company Marines loaded into the Super Stallions one platoon at a time. The extraction point was on the opposite side of MCTAB, where the Super Stallions picked up the Marines and then flew them over to the MOUT insertion point. A ramp in the Super Stallion’s belly opened up for Marines to drop the rope and rappel to the ground. The first Marine to hit the ground held the rope still to allow the rest of the platoon safe travel down the rope. The rest of the platoon set up security around the perimeter of the landing zone until the entire platoon was on the ground and ready to advance through the MOUT town.

Marines then formed up into their fire teams and advanced through all MOUT town objectives. Opposing force role-players were dispersed throughout MOUT town to provide Marines a realistic urban warfare scenario.

After they completed their missions of clearing the MOUT town, the squads rallied on the opposite side of the MOUT town for extraction.

“This exercise is just another example of how we show our capabilities to complete any mission that comes our way,” Coston said. “After Exercise Island Viper, Rim of the Pacific Exercise and the Talon Exercise there is no doubt our battalion will be ready for any of our nation’s conflicts.”

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