USS BATAAN --
Marines and sailors from Fox Company and Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted fast rope sustainment training in the hangar bay of the USS Bataan April 18, 2011.
“When a helicopter is unable to land, it’s the fastest way to get Marines from the helicopter to the ground,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Jackson, 2nd platoon sergeant with Fox Company. “We have this training to sustain our Marines’ understanding of fast roping.”
Helicopter rope suspension technique masters supervised each Marine through the exercise four times to get them comfortable descending the rope. To maintain a fast rope qualification, Marines must go through this training every six months.
“If things go well, we can clear more than 20 Marines out of the [helicopter] quickly,” said Cpl. Brad Friang, a HRST master with 3rd platoon, Fox Company. “The idea is to get to the objective without landing the aircraft.”
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and will continue to train and improve 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, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps' smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to a hostile environment or crisis.