North Carolina Marine Corps squadron trains at MHAFB
By Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 06, 2018
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The Marine Attack Squadron 542 from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, trained with the 366th Fighter Wing during the months of January and February.
VMA-542 conducted training to gain a familiarization with how AV-8B Harrier IIs react to cold weather conditions.
“Typically we don’t see much cold weather where we are from, and the altitude in Mountain Home is a lot different,” said Corporal Tyler Fry, VMA-542 powerline plane captain. “Cold weather gives us various complications of the aircraft that we normally never see and helps us get the training we need for different types of environments.”
A Marine Corps plane captain executes pre-flight and post-flight inspections on aircraft to confirm they are ready to fly and perform duties similar to a U.S. Air Force crew chief.
Corporal Cameron Vugrinovich, VMA-542 powerline plane captain, says working with the Air Force puts a new spin on their training.
“It’s a lot different than I expected,” Vugrinovich said. “We’re used to working with the U.S. Navy more, so working with the Air Force, seeing what they do and how they work on jets compared to us, it definitely opens your eyes to other ideas of how we can work on our jets and perform our maintenance to get things done.”
A VMA-542 Harrier pilot said training with joint terminal attack controllers, F-15E Strike Eagles and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs has been beneficial to their mission.
“The Air Force has been excellent to work with,” the Harrier pilot said. “As soon as we got here, they welcomed us into their own hangars. We’ve spent some time studying with them while being able to work with them hand-in-hand. Sharing our tactics has improved the capabilities of both services.”
Conquering low temperatures and working side-by-side with other military branches will help VMA-542 reach their objective.
“Anytime you’re faced with cold weather, it causes some challenges with the aircraft that you have to learn to overcome,” Fry said. “The real positive thing for being here in the mission that we’re actually trying to accomplish now is to train ourselves and the pilots.”