Training Exercise 'Desert Talon' ...
After we returned from our Thanksgiving break, much appreciated by the unit, we began our formal training with the Marine Corps. We started with several days of briefings, mostly classified, in preparation for the multi-service training exercise "Desert Talon." Most of the briefings were designed to combat the problems of integrating the Army with the Marine Corps, especially the technical jargon. Most of the Marines started their speeches with a disclaimer: "This arrangement, the Army working for the Marines, has never happened before, at least in our careers, so please be patient as we sort out our differences and get used to working with each other."
The exercise lasted several days which only seemed like a flash in time. We were able to integrate our flying operations and tactics into the Marines' missions, providing the command elements aviation support they requested. Busy working around the clock made time to pass quickly and before we knew it we were sitting among each other evaluating our performances. All of our companies in 2/224th AVN have made incredible progress, getting better and better at our once part time jobs.
We unanimously agree that this plan, bringing us to Yuma to fly with the Marines, was the most beneficial use of our time before deployment. We all were able to learn the Marine Corps' methods in a training environment rather than under the heat of fire in theater. Hopefully our sister units feel the same way.
By Bert Stover |
December 14, 2005; 10:24 AM ET
Training with Marines
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