Futenma Marines rehearse arrested landing safety procedures

by Lance Cpl. Janessa K. Pon, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines executed arrested landing safety training Jan. 9 on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The Marines are expeditionary airfield systems technicians with Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Futenma, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan.

In an arrested landing, either a safety barrier or other equipment, such as nylon arresting wire, is used to rapidly decelerate an aircraft. As an incoming aircraft touches down, its tailhook latches onto the wire, causing it to stop at a shorter distance than in a typical landing.

Arrested landings are standard procedure on aircraft carriers due to the short length of the flight deck, according to Sgt. David J. Fredenberg, a runway supervisor and expeditionary airfield systems technician with H&HS, MCAS Futenma, MCIPAC.

The training ensured that the Marines on the air strip were proficient at following safety guidelines during an arrested landing.

“Marines need to be well-rehearsed in the execution of arrestments and other procedures to reduce the risk of injuries on the airstrip,” said Lance Cpl. Ronald Summerlin, a Virginia Beach, Virginia, native and an expeditionary airfield systems technician with H&HS, MCAS Futenma, MCIPAC.
Marines practice arrested landings on airfields to prepare for landing on aircraft carriers and other situations in which time and space are limited. Training on land enables a smooth transition to those situations.

“If we are in a combat zone where there are high-density operations, it is very possible to have to execute multiple arrestments back-to-back to support the aircraft,” said Fredenberg, a Madison, Wisconsin, native.

There are many factors that determine how personnel on the airfield will conduct an arrested landing, according to Cpl. Ryan A. Allard, an expeditionary airfield systems technician with H&HS, MCAS Futenma, MCIPAC.

“Some things that need to be taken into consideration are the weight and type of the aircraft and its speed when it touches down on the runway,” said Allard, a Canyon Lake, California, native. “After the aircraft comes and takes the arrestment, it usually should stop about 900-950 feet from the time it touches down.”

Above all, safety is paramount in all operations of the aircraft wing and throughout the Marine Corps, according to Fredenberg.

“Complacency kills,” said Fredenberg. “Whether you are forward-deployed or on an air station, it’s important to make sure all personnel and equipment are safe and properly utilized to maintain combat readiness.”

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