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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
Marine surveyors prepare for arrestments

By Lance Cpl. Antonio Rubio | | November 24, 2013

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TINIAN, Northern Mariana Island -- Combat engineer drafting and surveyors setup for surveyor lining spots for M-31 Marine Corps expeditionary arresting gear system along Tinian’s West Field runway Nov. 22 during Exercise Forager Fury II.

The arresting gear is a key component in the upcoming training between aircraft and ground crews during FFII which is a joint exercise designed to employ and assess combat power generation in a deployed and austere environment.

“We are surveying were to place the arresting gear set up,” said Lance Cpl. Johnny Gomez, a combat engineer drafting and surveyor with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We are taking shots from the runway to get our azimuth to 180 degrees in order to get the coordinates perpendicular to the runway. To achieve this, we created points, stacked them out and record the elevation level so the (expeditionary airfield system technician Marines) can place the arresting gear there.”

To calculate the azimuths, the procedure is to either subtract or add 180 degrees to a spot, then they find the perpendiculars, or 90 degree angles to ensure the point they have chosen is center.

Taking notes is vital because of the abundance of numbers and points, according to Gomez. Marines should keep track with the numbers and calculations and confirm them because errors in fact could be catastrophic on the runway.

The Marines calculated the needed points for arresting gear emplacement on Tinian’s West Field runway for upcoming training during FF II.

“With jets being sensitive, the arresting gear has to be perfect,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan Gamino is a combat engineer and drafting surveyor with MWSS-171. “The gear has to be perfect in elevation, in sync with each other and have to be an exact distance from one another or else you could possibly damage an aircraft.”

Surveyors are the foundation for the setup of arresting gear, according to Sgt. Erik Granlund, the expeditionary airfield crew leader with MWSS-171.

“Surveyors help us because they get the exact points we need that are crucial for the alignment for the arresting gear,” said Granlund. “It’s very important to have these survey spots spot on, because if we don’t have those points, our gear could be crooked and (impede the mission).”

Although surveying is a one-man job, Gomez prefers to take his junior Marines not only to mentor them, but to also ensure the spots are accurate.

“I use a two-man method because it’s beneficial toward myself and gives my Junior Marines hands-on experience,” said Gomez.

When the surveying is complete, the installation of the arresting gear will make West Field able to accommodate the landing of F/A-18 Hornets for FF II.


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