Story by Cpl Jesus Sepulveda Torres on 02/06/2018
A sunny day with nothing out of the ordinary is the usual weather for aircraft landing aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, but that can all change immediately if they were to experience a malfunction.
When that kind of call comes, the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) with Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay (MCAS) is first on sight already reacting to the situation.
To effectively prepare for worst case scenarios like these, ARFF conducted wheel fire training on Feb. 2, 2018 at West Field, MCAS.
"We focused on aircraft hot brakes," said Sgt. Miguel Castaneda, a station captain with ARFF. "Hot brakes occur when the braking system fails, then heat up so high that it actually melts the tires thus catching the wheels on fire."
He said the training included different aspects of responding to an aircraft related fire.
"Our driver's practiced driving their P-19 fire-fighting vehicles, approaching a simulated burning aircraft called a Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Training Device (MAFTD)," Castaneda said. "With two vehicles, the Marines assessed the type of fire and responded accordingly with cooling agent as well as water."
Castaneda said the exercise was approached with a crawl-walk-run method that had Marines learn the concept in a classroom environment, followed by practical application.
"Starting in the classroom, Marines were instructed on what hot brakes are and how to properly coordinate as a team to respond effectively to them," Castaneda said. "I feel confident in how well the Marines executed their objectives as well as being engaged in the after action briefs."
Lance Cpl. Kaleb Gray, a firefighter with ARFF, said the scenarios and instructions were clear and concise for him and junior Marines.
"To me, it was all refresher training, but to the newer guys who never done these classes before, it helps out a lot," he said. "The training was excellent, because we had more specific training in a step-by-step environment. We went through everything we needed to do out here in the classroom first to sharpen our reactions."
Gray said the instructors were able to identify flaws and correct them as the day went on. He also added that everybody who leaves from the training is that much more skilled in their job.
ARFF Marines are always training and are on call for airfield emergencies, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jacob Forston, the officer in charge for ARFF.
"The goal was to instill confidence in the Marines, to be confident in what they're task is and knowing what they're their position on the site is, so that they don't have to think, just act," he said. "Out of all the worksites on this base, we are 100% ready at the firehouse, whether the airfield is open or not, we are working seven days a week," he said. "This training only makes us that much more proficient."
Partnering with the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463), the Soldiers simulated being inserted into a military area of operations by exiting an aircraft just above the water's surface.
"It's been a five-year transformation" to create a combat training environment for the Kaneohe Bay Gun Training Facility at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Ralph Scott Jr., range project manager, said.
Shots ring out, spent rounds discharge and the police retreat, leaving one officer behind with a gunshot wound. The insurgents drag him through the courtyard for all to see and execute him.
Story by Cpl Jesus Sepulveda Torres on 01/22/2018
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay staff hosted a base tour for delegates from the Indian Navy on MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Jan. 18, 2018.
"Our goals were to give the delegates a sense of understanding that if their units are accommodated here they will be welcome with open arms and taken care of," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jason Grower, the executive officer of MCAS.
Grower greeted and accompanied the delegates on their visit. He added that one of the delegates visiting the air station was Vice Adm. G. Ashok Kumar, the Deputy Chief of Navy Staff for the Indian Navy.
"The purpose of the visit was for delegates to meet with their counterparts and at the same time explore venues where their Navy and aircraft would be stationed during this year's Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018," he said.
RIMPAC is a multi-international exercise encompassing U.S. forces training alongside their foreign counterparts to improve unit cohesion and to foster positive relationships with other countries.
Grower said that visits like these help foster and improve communication between military forces.
"During the tour, the vice admiral asked questions about our capabilities of being able to maintain their troops and equipment, specifically their Boeing P-8 Poseidon military aircraft which our station is more than capable of supporting," said Jeff Telling, air field manager for MCAS, "I hope they have a better appreciation and understanding of how this aging airport went from a propeller driven era from WWII to the jet age."
Telling said with the air station's long history, Kumar was brought to locations affected by the Pearl Harbor attack and other sites around MCAS.
"We took Vice Adm. G. Ashok Kumar on a tour of MCAS to give him an overview of who we are and what we do," he said. "Events for today included a brief from the air field manager at the air station's gallery in the terminal, a guided history tour around MCAS with an aerial perspective of what the Mokapu Peninsula looks like from the top of Kansas Tower and stops at bomb craters from the Pearl Harbor attack."
Telling also enforced how the base in its current location is a safeguard to reacting swiftly to Pacific region problems.
Grower said, strategically, this base allows us to be forward deployed and the ability to respond to a world emergency and get Service members to the fight as quickly as possible.
He also said that small visits like these impact how the base is seen and why the air station is a crucial element in the Pacific.
"I really hope that they take away that they see MCBH is always on the job, reinforcing the 3 Ps': Produce Readiness, Promote Resiliency and Project Power," Grower said. "But to me, there's a fourth P' and that is partnership, which encourages us to continue fostering positive relations with our allies in the Indo-Pacific region."
The three 'P's' are the lines of effort that allow Marine Corps Base Hawaii to accomplish it's mission which is to provide forward-based, sustainable and secure training and operational support, facilities, and services to enable Operational Forces to accomplish their mission.
The geographic locations and dates the COOL and VOLED representatives will visit to brief Sailors include:
1) Jan. 22 - Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
2) Jan. 23 - Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Kekaha, Hawaii
3) Jan. 24 - Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
4) Jan. 24 - Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station (NCTAMS) Pacific, Wahiawa, Hawaii
5) Jan. 25 - Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
6) Feb. 5-6 - Naval Base Rota, Spain
7) Feb. 8-9 - Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily
8) Feb. 12-13 - Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy
9) Feb. 15-16 - Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, Greece
10) Feb. 19 - Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa
11) Feb. 21-22 - Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain