MCAS FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan — Military occupational specialties are the foundation of the Marine Corps. Each MOS is a cog, working with and relying on each other to keep the fighting machine that is the United States Marine Corps running. Aircraft rescue and firefighting is one such MOS.
ARFF specialists are Marines who are rigorously trained to handle emergency aircraft situations. They combat aircraft fires, assist with any casualties encountered, and if an aircraft cannot land unassisted, ARFF Marines are there to minimize the impact.
ARFF specialist are charged with upholding the highest level of safety standards. They are sent to the Firefighting and Rescue School at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, to learn how to shoulder this responsibility. There, they spend three months learning the proper procedures for fire and rescue, the different aircrafts the Marine Corps uses, and how to contain fuel fires. They learn how to cope with the sweltering heat in the protective gear they use, how to use their adrenaline to push all but the task at hand out of their minds and about the pride that is ignited within them knowing they make the difference.