Tinian – arines with 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Air Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 12, Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, expeditionary air field technicians have caused a change to the M-31 arresting gear manual May 18, 2012 during Exercise Geiger Fury 2012.
TThe EAFT’s installed the arresting gear into the harsh Tinian coral terrain, a feat which has never been done before.
“The coral install has never been done before in this military occupational specialty,” said GySgt. Christopher Mendoza, MAG-12, MWSS-171, EAFT quality assurance chief. “The Marines installing this gear are getting training that no one else has and are going to change the way the Marine Corps does things from here on out.”
It is said that the entire M-31 arresting gear manual will need to be rewritten to add the coral instillation process.
“The training we do right now is going to update manuals, update training and everything to do with instillation,” said Mendoza.
The Marines had to combine several of the M-31 arresting gears anchoring systems in order to ensure the instillation worked successfully.
“Installing this gear into coral, it’s never been done before,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua A. Myrick, MAG-12, MWSS-171 EAFT. “We are using systems we have never used before and combining them to meet our needs. We are doing what Marines do. We know our task, see an obstacle we are going to overcome and accomplish the mission.”
During the instillation, the MAG-12 Executive Officer Lt. Col. Thomas E. Frederick joined the EAFT Marines for the instillation. Grabbing a jackhammer and installing several of the anchoring coral stakes himself and with the assistance of the EAFT Marines.
“I enjoy getting to work with the Marines,” said Frederick. “I’ve been flying for more than 20 years, and I have never seen how the arresting gear was installed. It was a great experience to know what these Marines go through to keep our pilots and aircraft safe.”
The Marines have been operating under several time constraints preparing for the first jets to land Monday May 21, 2012.
“Each side of the arresting gear was expected to take up to a week or more to install because it has never been done in this terrain before,” said Frederick. “These Marines have done it in a little over two days for each side.”
With the instillation of the arresting gear finished, the Marines participating in Exercise Geiger Fury 2012 can begin landing jets on Tinian. Ensuring the maximum capabilities of the exercise, and the Marines, are brought to their full potential.