NEW YORK --
The end result of Marines rushing off helicopters in attack formations usually is not hugs and handshakes, but for a group of Marines conducting simulated raids throughout N.Y. that was the case during Fleet Week New York 2011, which ran from May 25 to June 1.
A raid team from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted a number of simulated raids taxied by helicopter detachments from 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, that are also currently attached to the 24th MEU, to showcase the capabilities of a Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The Marines conducted raids at Orchard Beach, Eisenhower Park, Corona Park, Playland Park, and Clove Lake Park throughout the week.
“We showed the public how we use fire and movement, fire and maneuver on the enemy as if we were assaulting some kind of enemy position,” said Pfc. Andrew Curtin, an infantryman with the raid team. “It’s kind of the bread and butter of what the Marine Corps infantry does.”
Spectators cheered at each location as they watch Marines rush off helicopters.
“We loved it,” said Kerri Trotta a New Yorker alongside her daughter.
“It was very nice, very impressive,” said James Lane a New Yorker.
“It was a very impressive display,” said Seamus McHugh.
At the end of each raid the Marines would interact with New Yorkers and tourists who attended the events. The Marines manning the helicopters, such as MV-22 Ospreys and CH-46 Helicopters, would dismount and attendees would get a chance to get a close look at the inside of the aircrafts.
The attendees greeted the Marines with hugs and handshakes, and often thanked them for their service. The Marines posed for pictures, answered questions and, let the attendees handle their weapons and gear.
“The importance of the event is showcasing the Marine Corps, letting everyone know what we do,” Cpl. Dennis McKenzie, an infantryman with the raid team. “People support us, but it’s good to know what they support. What it is we do on a daily basis and how we train.”