HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen train Marines prior to deployment

An Airman and a Marine prepare to refuel an F-15E Strike Eagle Nov. 16, 2016 Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The Marines are training to use the R-11 aircraft refueler before they deploy to Morón Air Base, Spain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

An Airman and a Marine prepare to refuel an F-15E Strike Eagle Nov. 16, 2016 Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The Marines are training to use the R-11 aircraft refueler before they deploy to Morón Air Base, Spain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

Chief Master Sgt. Marlon Carcamo, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron chief enlisted manager, talks to Marines and Airmen Nov. 17, 2016 Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Airmen trained Marines in a week-long joint training exercise to familiarize the Marines with the R-11 aircraft refueler before their deployment to Morón Air Base, Spain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

Chief Master Sgt. Marlon Carcamo, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron chief enlisted manager, talks to Marines and Airmen Nov. 17, 2016 Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Airmen trained Marines in a week-long joint training exercise to familiarize the Marines with the R-11 aircraft refueler before their deployment to Morón Air Base, Spain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

The fuel line was quickly secured to the bottom of the F-15E Strike Eagle parked on the flight line at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The Airman looked over at the R-11 aircraft refueling vehicle and gave the member standing by the truck a thumbs-up. The man turned knobs on the control panel while the pressure gauges began to move. Within seconds, the digital display flashed numbers faster than they could be recognized.

“Good job Marine,” an Airman yelled to a smiling Marine working on the R-11 panel.

U.S. Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, came to Seymour Johnson AFB to receive training on the R-11 aircraft refuelers, Nov. 15-18, 2016.

Marine Corps Sgt. Kyle Coutts, MWSS 274 bulk fuel specialist, said this training opportunity is a great chance for the Marines to practice what they’d be doing once they are deployed to Morón Air Base, Spain.

Morón Air Base uses the R-11 to refuel the aircraft located there. The base has strategic importance since it’s the main base for KC-10A and KC-135R aircraft. The Marines there are equipped with Boeing MV-22B Ospreys and Lockheed Martin KC-130J aerial refueling/cargo aircraft.

 “The Marines mission is actually the same as the Air Force mission,” Coutts said. “We need to get there as fast as possible, but we also need to get there safely. We want the planes fueled up quickly so they can get in the air and complete their mission without delay.”

Coutts said that to accomplish that mission, they would need to train hard before they deploy.

 “The hands-on training that we’re receiving is great because once we deploy to Spain, our people can hit the ground running,” said Coutts. “Since we’re getting familiar with the platform here, we can transition over faster and require less training to get licensed there. It’s a great thing that our leadership was able to set-up.”

Once Coutts and his leadership received orders to deploy to Spain, his superiors called the Fuels Management Team from the 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron to put together a joint training exercise.

The 4th LRS put together a weeklong training schedule for the Marines to familiarize themselves with the equipment they would be using overseas.

“We wanted to get the Marines as familiar with the R-11 platform as we could get them,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jose Ybarra, 4th LRS fuels craftsman. “For most of them, it’s their first time really interacting with the Air Force so we want them to learn a lot and enjoy the experience.”

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Carlos Barajasharo, MWSS 274 bulk fuel specialist, said he was astonished by the training and attitude of the Airmen.

“All of our questions were answered on the spot in detail,” Barajasharo said. “These Airmen know exactly what they’re talking about. It’s really good training.”

The training schedule began with a safety briefing and some classroom instruction to familiarize the Marines with the equipment.

“The Marines that are here, they volunteered to come,” said Coutts. “These guys wanted to come here and learn more about their job. They want to get to their next location, and do it right.”

During the first day, the Marines got a chance to meet most of the Airmen they’d be working with for the next week and then rode in the R-11s on the flight line to watch the Airmen perform everything they just learned in class.

“We wanted the Marines to get the chance to see what they’d be doing before getting hands-on training,” said Ybarra.

The Marines received hands-on training on their second day by fueling the F-15Es.

“On the second day, we had the Marines working under constant supervision, where they could ask questions and get help from the Airmen,” Ybarra said.

Coutts said the Marines were quickly fostering confidence in their ability to work on the R-11 and the Airmen were watching the Marines do everything from the set-up to issuing the fuel.

According to U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Pierre Anderson, 4th LRS fuels craftsman, the Marines were fairly familiar with the new platform and could perform the tasks well.

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jamie Lariviere, MWSS 274 bulk fuel specialist, said he is proud of the how quickly the Marines were learning.

To commemorate the joint training, the 4th LRS sponsored a barbecue. U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Parsley 4th LRS fuels craftsman, said that by this time a strong bond was built between the Marines and the Airmen.

 “We’re definitely going to miss these guys when we leave,” said Coutts.

Coutts said they all are hoping they get the chance to come back and work with the Airmen again.

Their final day at Seymour Johnson started with a weekly safety briefing with the additional presence of U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Nilda Valdez, MWSS 274 fuels chief, and Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Thomas, MWSS 274 maintenance chief.

Afterward, Valdez and Thomas were briefed on everything that their Marines went through. They received a run-through of the R-11 and then went outside to the parking lot where the Marines drove the refueler through a slalom.

After a long goodbye filled with hardy hand-shakes and smiles, Coutts said the Marines will be leaving Seymour Johnson AFB with the knowledge they were looking to learn.

“They’ll be ready,” said Ybarra. “When the time comes for them to operate the R-11, these Marines are going to get the job done.”
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.