JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - It may surprise some people that behind the gate, there are Marines.
"My job is to train Marines that come from boot camp," said Staff Sergeant Shadrach Brausch. He is a powerline mechanic instructor.
He trains entry-level Marines because Marines also fly C-130’s in battle.
"They can actually call the C-130's," he said. "We'll come and we'll put out flares to light up the battlefield for the Marines on the ground."
But theirs are slightly modified. "Our Harvest Hawk only carries missiles," said Brausch. The airframe is the same. "It's definitely the workhorse of not just the Marine Corps, but military aviation in general," he added.
The power line is the same. And because these planes are expensive, the engine is actually made by Rolls Royce. The Marines and Air Force have teamed up to train.
"The Air Force has very, very nice facilities that are particular to our model series, so they've been gracious enough to let us utilize those bases and those trainers for our own training," said Brausch.
Staff Sergeant Justin King said, "We are extremely privileged to be able to use these trainers with the air force, our ability to train with the Air Force is reaching milestones that we've never been able to reach on our own."
One of the trainers costs $14.8 million. "That is a lot of money. But the value it saves us and the Marines in training costs is immeasurable," said Master Sergeant Elias Carlon.
The trainers were built back in 2006. And for the past decade, Marines and airmen have gotten hands-on experience.
"You have to be able to operate some of this equipment," explained King. "Take things apart, see how it is working in person or you're not going to get the full extent of what we teach in the classroom."
On Friday, in the fifth and final part of our "Behind the Gate" series, you'll meet the A-Team. The MacGyvers that can make just about anything right on LRAFB.