Firefighting training video sparks fears of fighter jet incident in South Carolina
By WADE LIVINGSTON | The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) | Published: January 20, 2018
BEAUFORT, S.C. (Tribune News Service) — Don't worry -- there wasn't a multimillion-dollar fighter jet on fire at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Friday morning.
But that's what some people initially thought when the air station published a Facebook Live video early Friday morning that showed what looked like one of the base's iconic jets awash in flames.
The jet, however, was a model, according to air station spokesman Capt. Clayton Groover, built in "an outline of one of our (F/A-18) Hornets."
And the fire was set intentionally, part of a "regularly scheduled training" exercise, according to Groover, that tests the air station's Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting unit's readiness and showcases its skills.
The air station has profiled the unit's work before.
In February 2016, it highlighted the details of a similar training exercise. "The training involved extinguishing fuel fires on a model jet to give ARFF Marines the experience of fighting a real fire," according to air station news release about the event. "The Marines battling the blaze use hoses to push the fire away from the model jet's cockpit in order to simulate procedure for rescuing a pilot in a real life scenario."
Members of the unit have participated in the Corps' annual Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting rodeo; last year's event was held at MCAS Air Station New River, N.C.
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