MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP
PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine with 7th Battalion
1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I
Marine Expeditionary Force rappels from a CH-46E
“Sea Knight” with Marine Medium Helicopter
Squadron 165, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd
Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary
Force to complete requirements for the
helicopter rope suspension techniques course,
here Oct. 28, 2009.
||MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.
Under the cover of night, a
CH-46E “Sea Knight” hovered 40 feet above the
ground as Marines rappelled from it one by one
during a training mission aimed at preparing
pilots and the Marines for night operations in
Aircrew with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron
165, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine
Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force,
flew the Sea Knight through the darkness to
improve their night flight proficiency and
helped the Marines complete the Helicopter Rope
Suspension Techniques course, here Oct. 28.
“It's harder for the enemy to [detect] pick us
up, and by using the night to our benefit it's
safer for us to drop off Marines,” said Capt.
Ryan A. Stevens, a pilot with the squadron also
known as the “White Knights.” “Different
obstacles such as power lines or fences make it
harder, which means we have to be more aware.
Night vision goggles help immensely and we
couldn't do this if we didn't have them.”
The students first rappelled an hour before
sunset, proving they could rcomplete the
training with minimal guidance. Most of the
Marines were from 7th Battalion, 1st Marine
Regiment, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat
Center Twentynine Palms, to conduct this course.
While the pilots maneuvered the 45-foot
aircraft, crew chiefs used their night vision
goggles to keep constant awareness of the
aircraft's position and the Marines on the