I would love to see this fly over my Marines & I providing close air support. Wonder why Marine grunts like Marines in the air supporting them? Wait for it….because they are Marines. We all went to The Basic School & those sexy MOS Marine pilots know that us grunts need them when we call on them and they deliver 110% of the time. Other branches are great and I won't turn down support period but I always feel a bit better when my brothers show up to the fight. Plus, like grunts, they don't forget why we are at war. One Team, One Fight.Semper Fi
Time for a C-Gar!
Marine Helicopter company pays tribute to NYC Fire Department
By Sgt. John Jackson, Regional Command Southwest
CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (Dec. 17, 2011) — In an effort to ensure
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron-169 Marines remember why they
are deployed, the squadron has adopted one of New York City's most
decorated Fire Department ladder companies that was heavily involved
during rescue attempts at the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001.
The squadron, which is comprised of AH-1W Super Cobras and UH-1Y
Hueys and tasked with providing air support to Marines and their
Coalition and Afghan partners, began its current deployment in southern
Afghanistan in November.
During this deployment, in addition to communicating with the "Green
Berets" of Engine 60, Ladder 17, a company that has been awarded 18
Department Medals for Valor and more than 20 unit citations since 1970,
at the conclusion of the squadron's shift-change briefs, Lt. Col.
Garrett Hoffman, commanding officer, HMLA-169, announces the name and
shows the photograph of a fallen firefighter who lost his life on 9/11.
He then ends the brief by saying two simple words: "Never forget."
The squadron also has one additional tribute to the ladder company
and to all New York City Fire Department (NYCFD) members, as Marines
with the Corrosion Control Section (CCS) developed and painted a mural
on the side on a Super Cobra to honor the NYCFD and to help ensure the
squadron's Marines and anyone who sees the aircraft patrol the Afghan
sky remembers why they are deployed.
"We took an actual picture of the New York skyline prior to 9/11, and
then scaled the photo," said Sgt. Micheal Morgan, the CCS
noncommissioned officer in charge. "Then we built a model to see how it
would look on the (aircraft) and eventually hand painted the image on
the actual (helicopter)."
The process took the CCS approximately one week to complete. While
the Marines in the section are proud of their work, they understand the
importance and bigger picture of the message behind it.
"It serves as a reminder to everyone in the squadron and anyone who
sees the aircraft," said Lance Cpl. Jacob Estrada, a CCS Marine with the
squadron. "Not only is it a reminder of why we are here, but it is also
definitely a morale booster and motivator for everyone."
"Sometimes when you are (working on the flightline), you forget
exactly where you are," said Lance Cpl. Philip Shands, a CCS Marine.
"Now, every time you see that aircraft, you remember where you are and
why you are here."
The mural painted on the aircraft is also intended to serve as a
reminder to all Marines throughout Helmand Province of the important
role each of them plays.
"Not only does the aircraft represent the New York City emergency
responders, it also reminds Marines of what we are fighting for here in
Afghanistan," said Capt. Gregory Butler, the CCS officer in charge and a
Super Cobra pilot. "Regardless what a Marine does while deployed,
whether he is working on the flightline, is an administrator or
patrolling the streets, everyone plays a vital role."
The squadron has approximately four months remaining in Afghanistan
and will continue to support and pay tribute to Engine 60, Ladder 17 and
the NYCFD throughout their deployment as the Super Cobra continues to
patrol the Afghan sky reminding Marines of why they are here.