Story by Cpl Carlos Jimenez on 12/04/2017U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152, the "Sumos," arrived at Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., Nov. 30, 2017, for El Centro Horizon.
The purpose of VMGR-152's El Centro Horizon unit-level training detachment is to increase squadron combat readiness through the diverse training ranges available in the Yuma training complex.
"The good thing about this ULT is that we're going to be able to do a lot of tactical training in very specific ranges that we don't get to do as often as we would like," said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Donald Shrewsbury, a KC-130J Hercules pilot with VMGR-152. "This is going to be good for everybody to get to see what we're trained to do and what this plane is able to do."
VMGR-152 will conduct training with 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to gain valuable insight on the most recent Operation Inherent Resolve assault support tactics. The Sumos will also conduct division formation flights with contiguous U.S.-based VMGR squadrons.
The squadron will accomplish the training goals through an aggressive schedule of various and diverse mission sets. These mission sets include day and night single ship and formation flights in air-to-air refueling, low altitude tactics, night systems, tactical navigation, assault landing zone operations, threat reaction and air delivery.
"There's a lot of training areas in Japan that we are not able to use, and there's a lot more availability in southern California, so we're going to use that training area in the time that we have there to get a lot of the junior guys, and myself, retrained and current in a lot of qualifications that we aren't able to do in Japan," said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Nicholas J. Clausing, a KC-130J Hercules crewmaster with VMGR-152.
Successful completion of El Centro Horizon will enhance unit combat readiness, help to maintain the high level of proficiency of VMGR-152 and provide for instructor certifications.
"We're always trying to train to be more proficient at our jobs," said Clausing. "When the Marine Corps asks us to do our job in the airplane, we all need to be trained and ready to complete our mission further on if we're in a combat zone."