CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., October 23, 2013 – Marines with Air Delivery Platoon, 2nd Marine Logistics Group waited anxiously in the cool weather for an MV-22B Osprey to arrive at Tactical Landing Zone Pheasant, here, Oct. 21.
The parachute riggers with Air Delivery Plt. were renewing jump certifications and maintaining mission readiness.
Air delivery reduces the hazards associated with moving supplies by ground, such as improvised explosive devices. Planes can fly in without detection, then drop a payload to a drop zone, allowing troops to be resupplied with minimal time on the ground.
“As part of the logistics [military occupational specialty] it gives us the capability of putting fewer trucks on the ground and in harm’s way,” said Sgt. Milford Anthony, a Kaneohe, Hawaii, native, platoon sergeant and air delivery chief with Landing Support Company. “We can fly supplies over and parachute those supplies to the ground without endangering any vehicles, and the people who rig up the supplies also have the capability of parachuting, so we can parachute in and secure the equipment until ground elements arrive on site to put the equipment to use.”
More than 15 Marines jumped from the Osprey, some with packs and rifles, others with just their [personal protective equipment] and parachutes. To continue performing at peak levels Marines with the military occupational specialty must complete jumps every three months.
Lance Cpl. James Lewis, a Canton, Mich. native and rigger with Air Delivery Plt., said he loves the initial exit out of the plane, but isn’t fond of landing.
To prepare for this job field, Marines attend a three-week course at Fort Benning, Ga. During the course, students learn how to exit an aircraft, maneuver with gear, emergency procedures, and how to land properly. They test these techniques during four daytime jumps and a final jump, which is performed at night. Students also learn hand and arm signals that are crucial for communication during the jumps.