MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. --
The mission of Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Marine Unit New River is to develop, deliver and support aviation technical training necessary to meet validated fleet requirements through a continuum of professional and personal growth for Marines and sailors.
CNATT instructors are flight line professionals with years of hands-on experience, which they pass on to their students in a classroom setting. They use various methods to present the information to their students, whether it is through power point presentations on state-of-the-art smart boards, or hands-on training with the students while working on models that have been cut out of the aircraft.
Staff Sgt. Luis J. Menaramos has been an instructor for almost a year at CNATT and said he enjoys teaching Marines the basic skills they need to be successful when they get to the operational forces.
“It takes a lot of patience to teach,” said Menaramos. “You have to understand these Marines are entry level, so really breaking it down and going back to the basics is important.”
The students arrive at CNATT straight from Marine Combat Training, in most cases, and are unfamiliar with the way the instructor-student relationship should be. Menaramos said the Marines don’t know how to conduct themselves in a learning environment because until now, the only impression they have of what the Marine Corps is like comes from recruit training and MCT.
“I’m here all day every day,” said Menaramos. “I get here early and I don’t leave until 4:45 p.m. I like to stress to my students that if they need to stay back or if they need help, I’m always here to help them. Every instructor tries to afford them as much time as they need to make them successful.”
CNATT students try to take advantage of every learning opportunity presented to them, said Pfc. Tyler P. Reeves, a CNATT student.
“We’ll have study sessions by ourselves.” said Reeves. “If anyone has a problem you can text or call the instructors and they help you out. The instructor, without a doubt, helps us prepare to hit the fleet.”
Safety is paramount not only to the air station, but to each individual Marine. Safety should be every Marine’s obligation, especially dealing with aircraft. To ensure safety measures are taken seriously, CNATT begins class with a safety lesson as the instructors share personal experiences of dangerous situations they have encountered.
“We teach our students that every flight begins with a run through to check for safety of the aircraft,” said Menaramos.
The CNATT staff works diligently to help put the stamp of approval on their students. Menaramos said they try to better the flight line of the Marines Corps one student at a time, and that comes through passion and many years of experience.
“I don’t want to send any of my students away not having a basic understanding of the material,” said Menaramos. “I put my personal signature on my students when they leave here, so I make sure they leave with the appropriate knowledge.”