HMH-461 fast ropes Dutch military into MOUT town
By Lance Cpl. Andy J. Orozco
| Marine Corps Air Station New River | February 20, 2014
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune --
Training foreign militaries is a common task for the Marine Corps.
Though American Marines usually train their foreign counterparts while deployed overseas, occasionally, the foreign Marines come to the states.
Approximately 120 Marines from the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, known in Dutch as Korps Mariniers, stationed on the Island of Aruba in the Caribbean, came to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Feb. 14, to conduct military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) training and fast-roping exercises with CH-53E Super Stallions from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River.
Royal Netherlands Marine Maj. Clemens Buter, 32 Korps Mariniers Company operations planner, explained that coming to Camp Lejeune was a great opportunity for training because of the resources available to them to conduct that training.
“The men were conducting MOUT and fast-rope training,” said Buter. “Although the facilities in Aruba are terrific, we don’t have things like this on the Caribbean islands, for example, the helicopter support and the possibilities to conduct fast-rope operations.”
Given where they are stationed, Buter explained that doing operations such as these are not very common.
“It’s very rare for us to be able to do training like this,” said Buter. “So, we are trying to plan a big exercise every year in Camp Lejeune to train our Marine company on MOUT training and fast-roping.”
U.S. Marine Capt. David Jach, an HMH-461 CH-53E Super Stallion pilot, helped transport the Royal Netherland Marines to the MOUT town.
During the exercise, HMH-461 helped 32 Company of the Korps Mariniers with helicopter-borne raid and fast-rope training into an urban environment, said Jach.
The raid insert was the culminating field exercise for the company’s bi-annual, two-week training exercise aboard Camp Lejeune.
Buter said he hopes this won’t be the last time his company is able to train aboard Camp Lejeune, and in exchange for this training opportunity he hopes to give the Marines who helped an opportunity as well.
“Our host unit has always been 2nd Force Recon,” said Buter. “While we are training here we are trying to get a unit from Force Recon over to Aruba in May of this year, then we hope to provide them with opportunities which they don’t have and we hope to come back every year.