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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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Recon students take off during HRST training

By Lance Cpl. Asia J. Sorenson | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | April 22, 2015


Reconnaissance Training Company Marines conducted Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction training at San Mateo Landing Zone, April 17.

The Marines, students of the Basic Reconnaissance Course at the School of Infantry - West, took turns being hoisted into the air by UH-1Y Huey during the SPIE portion of their Helicopter Rope Suspension Training.

During the course of HRST, the students learn SPIE rigging, rappelling and fast rope techniques.

“It was an amazing experience for us,” said 1st Lt. Francisco Garza, a BRC student. “SPIE rigging and hanging from helicopters, this is the stuff from movies. I was also able to overcome some of my fears today and it feels great.”

BRC is a 12-week course designed to transform students into reconnaissance men, able to operate as part of a team and perform reconnaissance operations throughout the world.

“A lot of our insert techniques revolve around helicopter operations,” said Gunnery Sgt. Paul K. Rochford, first phase BRC platoon sergeant. “These are a few of the different techniques we can use without landing the helicopter in a difficult environment.”

The Helicopter Rope Suspension Training is a part of the individual skills portion of their training. This portion of training also includes classes and practical application in land navigation, combat conditioning, knots and rope management.

“It’s a well-rounded course that exposes all of our students to a wide-variety of situations,” said Rochford. “It gives them the confidence, strength and endurance to do the job they're being trained to do.”

The mission of the Reconnaissance Training Company is to train, mentor and qualify reconnaissance men in basic and advanced skills such as ground reconnaissance, amphibious reconnaissance, battlespace shaping, specialized raid skills, scouting and long-range communication skills.

“At the time it’s the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life” said Pfc. John H. Clark III, a BRC student. “But it’s worth it.”