By Cpl. Alissa Schuning
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Marines conducted a Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration during the 2015 MCAS Miramar Air Show, themed a salute to veterans and their families, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, Oct. 2 to 4.
With aviation, ground and logistical elements under a central command, a MAGTF can sustain and tailor itself for any mission.
Air show attendees received the chance to see the coordinated use of close-air support, artillery and infantry forces the Marine Corps utilizes in combat.
“The MAGTF demonstration shows the tax payers what they are paying for,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn Talbert, a safety insert officer with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. “Hopefully this gives people an understanding of why so much time and money goes into the technology and training it takes to operate efficiently and effectively. Civilians have a lot of ideas about what we do when we go in to combat and this shows them exactly how we do things and what we are capable of.”
The demonstration begins with an aerial assault, simulating fighter jets locking-in and destroying targets before a team with the 1st Recon Bn fast-ropes from a UH-1Y Huey to gather information and call for more support.
“The purpose of fast-roping is to be able to insert into areas where a helicopter can’t land,” said Talbert. “When dropping out of the aircraft, they don’t attach to the rope so that, if something were to happen, the aircraft can quickly take off. We train hard to make it as quick of a transition from air to ground as possible.”
Once they get lifted back to safety, an MV-22B Osprey brings more Marines to put on the ground in order to execute an attack on the enemy while calling for more air and ground support.
“The MAGTF demonstration is so cool because it’s real,” said Tyler Croswell, a spectator at the air show. “They aren’t just putting on a show like the other acts, this is actually what they do on a regular basis and it’s rare for people like me, not being in the military, to be able to see that and it adds to the already immense respect I have for our service members.”
At the end of it all, spectators got the chance to see the precision and skill that goes into a full combat assault on the enemy.
“The MAGTF demonstration is easily my favorite act,” said Col. Jason Woodworth, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar. “It’s an opportunity to see the Marines do what they do on a daily basis. With the helicopters, the jets and the ground guys doing what they do with such precision, it’s hard to beat.”