MARINE CORPS LOGISTIS BASE ALBANY, GA -- A CH-46 helicopter crashes and lands on the side of a cliff in the mountains of Afghanistan. The crew is alive, but badly injured and cannot be reached by anyone below. Only one Marine squad is close enough to save the crew's lives.
With no more than a single rope, one-by-one Marines rappel down to the crew members in time to perform life saving procedures until the injured can be transported to a safe location.
Eighty S6 Marines rappelled from a 50-foot fire tower here Nov.19 in an exercise intended to give them related training, said Sgt. Derrick Edwards, computer support technician. Edwards, who set the training up for the Marines, stressed the importance of staying up to date with training.
During combat, Marines may have to rappel from the tops of buildings to save a comrade's life or to elude or engage the enemy.
"I think it is good that we can come together for some hardcore training," said Sgt. Randolph Pierce, communications center operator.
"This is going to help a lot of people, including myself," said Pierce, who was apprehensive about rappelling from the tower.
Lance Cpl. Eric Bruscell, computer repairman, was among several Marines who faced and overcame their fear of heights.
"I don't have an option whether to go or not," said Bruscell. "For combat purposes, this is important."
"It was exhilarating," said Sgt. Joseph Schneider, communications center technician here, who was among those who enjoyed the adrenaline rush.
Training exercises such as rappelling give Marines an idea of what they can expect in combat, said Schneider, who felt that more training in this area is needed.
The MCLB Fire and Emergency Department provided support for the training exercise. Units aboard MCLB can set up rappel tower training by calling Fire Chief Jack Colby at 639-5610.