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Photo Information

Cpl. Kyle James, left, and Sgt. Ruben Ochoa battle an aircraft fire during Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting training at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Aug. 14, 2014. James and Ochoa are both ARFF specialists with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. James is a native of Pasadena, Texas, and Ochoa is a native of Bakersfield, Calif.

Photo by Cpl. J. R. Heins

Aircraft Rescue, Firefighting Marines hone techniques

19 Aug 2014 | Cpl. J. R. Heins 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

More than 20 Marines with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point's Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting simulated extinguishing aircraft fires to prepare them for the conditions and stressors of real life Aug. 14.

"The purpose of this training is to familiarize the Marines with being around fire and the techniques they would use to combat it," said Cpl. Brian Lorys, an ARFF specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.

The Marines use a Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Training Device to obtain the most realistic training, according to Lorys, a native of Bradley Brook, N.Y. The MAFTD provides several types of training situations for the Marines by releasing fire from different directions at various heights and locations on the aircraft.

Everyone who works on a truck is required to conduct the training, said Lorys.

"The training helps everyone," said Lance Cpl. Cory Carden, an ARFF specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274. "For the newer people, it allows them to experience real life situations, and for the people who have been here a while, it keeps everything fresh in their heads and helps build muscle memory."

Each situation the Marines go into during this training simulates a real aircraft fire, said Carden. They must train how they perform in a live fire.

The most important part of this training is that the real scenario gives the best practice for the rescuemen, said Lorys. Firefighting is not something you can just learn in the classroom; there needs to be the practice of going out and experiencing the conditions.

"If we do not take this training seriously and suddenly the real thing rolls around we won't be ready, and someone will get hurt," said Lorys. "It is our job to remain prepared to face the fire for hours on end if needed, because how intense we train will reflect how well we perform."

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing