MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marine pilots and crewmen go through many hours of training to maintain readiness for every possible scenario, including ejecting from the aircraft during emergency situations. When that happens, it’s time to set a “TRAP”.
Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion learned to conduct ground Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel missions Feb. 28 - March 4, 2011.
Marines with the Special Operations Training Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, instruct the five-day course, which consists of two days of class and three days of practical application. Practical application covers missions from recovering unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles to rescuing pilots and equipment.
During TRAP missions, Marines enter the crash site, recover personnel, secure sensitive materials and extract as quickly as possible. Instructors with SOTG started time hacks and set deadlines for each evolution of the mission for further evaluation on speed and effectiveness.
“It’s going to better us,” said Lance Cpl. Travis St. Clair, an infantryman with the BLT, and Boone, N.C., native, “we’re going to be working with LAR, and if something goes down, we’ll know how to take care of business.”
During one scenario, Marines recovered two pilots, including a casualty, while dealing with local nationals. Following the mission, instructors reviewed their notes to help the Marines become more effective.
“It went pretty well. It was a little hectic at first, but we brought it together, worked as a team and completed the mission,” said Lance Cpl. Jared Cazzell, an LAV crewman with 2nd LAR, “This gives us an edge in case something does happen, it gives us the training we need to complete the mission.”
These Marines will be part of the designated TRAP force for the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit during their upcoming deployment.
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are in the midst of their pre-deployment training program, which is a series of progressively complex exercises designed to train and test the MEU's ability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission capable force comprised of Aviation Combat Element, Marine Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and the Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps' smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, commanded by a colonel and comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response in a hostile or crisis environment. While deployed, each MEU also incorporates two KC-130 aircraft available to support the unit's operations abroad.