Mar 6, 2014
US Marines, Spanish pilots conduct bilateral carrier landings
As part of a larger effort to increase international cooperation, U.S. Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response conducted a bilateral carrier qualification with their Spanish counterparts from Maneuver Helicopter Battalion #4 (BHELMA IV) aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).
The carrier qualification gave the pilots from SP-MAGTF Crisis Response and BHELMA IV a dedicated opportunity to practice fundamental skills associated with operating carrier-based aircraft and demonstrate acceptable levels of proficiency.
Positioned out of Morón Air Base, Spain, the approximately 500 personnel of SP-MAGTF CR come from various elements of the Marine Corps: aviation, ground combat arms, and logistics. As a part of their mission, SP-MAGTF CR conducts military-to-military training with African and European nations.
The Marines created the unit as part of the Department of Defense’s continuing effort to improve its crisis response capability around the globe.
SP-MAGTF CR is a self-deployable and highly mobile force designed to respond to missions in the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. European Command areas of responsibility.
Various aircraft were used during the training. The Marines flew the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, while BHELMA IV flew both the CH-47 Chinook and the AS532 Cougar helicopters. During the carrier qualification, take-off and landing were performed in mixed sections, meaning that American and Spanish aircraft were paired together for alternating landings.