USS MESA VERDE — All 25 Marines and Sailors who went through the Marine Corps first and most realistic helicopter crash simulation in the Gulf of Aden passed through the training exercise with flying colors, a Marine spokesman announced Monday.
“The best training a Marine can receive is when it’s as real as possible,” said Capt. John Avery, a spokesman with Headquarters Marine Corps.
Amid major budget cuts that have cut into training funds, the Marine Corps took an innovative approach to the problem of keeping Marines safe in the air and sea by replacing its helicopter crash trainers — which feature chopped-in-half helicopters that flip over and dunk Marines into a pool — with real CH-53E helicopters taking off from the USS Mesa Verde that later crash into the waters off the coast of Yemen.
After all, if the Marines have a bunch of CH-53Es around still flying, they’ll never get Congress to pay for a bunch of new K models.