USS BATAAN --
Marines and sailors with 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit’s tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel platoon conducted an alert drill aboard USS Bataan to prepare for potential missions, April 26, 2011.
The MEU’s TRAP platoon consists of highly trained Marines and sailors with Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, ready to provide support in a variety of contingencies.
“We conduct the drills to ensure everyone’s on the same page,” said Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Sampson, 21, a squad leader with the TRAP platoon, and native of St. Joseph, Mo.
The Marines and sailors rehearse missions to build repetition, and ensure “on game day there are no kinks,” Sampson said.
At the sound of an alarm, the Marines rushed to an armory for weapons issue, gathered tactical gear and made their way to a rally point in the ship’s hangar bay.
The TRAP platoon commander gave the Marines and sailors a detailed mission brief, outlining the team’s specific task at hand. The Marines reviewed maps and received sensitive intelligence on a notional scenario.
Following final communications and gear checks, the Marines and sailors patiently waited for the call to load into aircraft on standby. In coordinated squads, the TRAP personnel boarded an MV-22B Osprey and received a flight brief from onboard crew chiefs with Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced). The Marines and sailors listened to the brief, practiced buckling into their seats, and finally, departed the static aircraft. Following the training exercise, the TRAP platoon conducted an in-depth after-action brief to discuss the training mission’s outcome.
The TRAP platoon often conducts similar drills to test mission readiness, and improve the team’s reaction time. The TRAP platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Mennen Suleiman, said the drills exercise all assets involved in planning and conducting TRAP missions.
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard 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 an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); a Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; a 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.