Marines Install Arresting Gear for Valiant Shield

Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadrons 171 and 172, both currently assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, use a jackhammer to drive a stake into the ground. (Photo By: Cpl. David A. Walters)

TINIAN, North Marianas Islands -- Marine Wing Support Squadrons 171 and 172 completed the installation of the M31 Marine Corps expeditionary arresting gear system at West Field, Tinian, in preparation of Valiant Shield 2014, which began Sept. 15. 

The movable arresting gear is a system of cables and shock absorbers, which can be set up on a runway to help aircraft safely stop in case of an emergency or if the runway is too short for a traditional landing.

According to Chief Warrant Officer Charles Dine, the expeditionary airfield fire and emergency services officer with MWSS-171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, the expeditionary system is useful in the event an aircraft experiences a loss of hydraulics, brakes or any other system that may require the pilot to disembark the aircraft quickly.

Lance Cpl. Juan Gonzalez, an expeditionary airfield systems technician with MWSS-171, helped install the arresting gear last year. 

“This is not a permanent install, it’s an expeditionary install,” said Gonzalez. “We take it when we leave, and when we come back out, we set it back up again.

“The  landings provide the pilots an opportunity to hit the arresting gear here in Tinian before they return to base in Guam.” 

Valiant Shield is a U.S.-only exercise integrating U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps assets. It offers joint-operational experience to develop capabilities that provide a full range of options to defend U.S. interests and those of its allies and partners. VS14 is scheduled to run Sept. 15-23.

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