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    3/7 prepares for deployment through TRAP training

    3/7 prepares for deployment through TRAP training

    Photo By Cpl. Jonathan Boynes | Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Jonathan Boynes 

    I Marine Expeditionary Force

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The sun crept over distant mountains as dozens of Marines with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command 15.2 (SP-MAGTF-CR-CC 15.2) shuffled across a slick carpet of grass and vegetation, filing one by one through the back of two MV-22 Ospreys. Only a short time before this, a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission had been called in, and the Marines would soon be on their way to provide support. Once fully loaded, the aircraft lifted off of the ground and sailed over the surrounding mountains to its destination.

    Both the urgency and realism of the exercise could lead one to believe that the mission was both genuine in nature and being conducted in a hostile environment. Fortunately, it was only training being conducted during SP-MAGTF-CR-CC 15.2’s most recent Certification Exercise held aboard several locations across Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho Feb. 5-14, 2015.

    Certification exercises are conducted regularly throughout the Corps testing unit performance across a broad spectrum of mission sets and core mission essential tasks.

    “TRAP missions are designed specifically to recover personnel who due to either mechanical failure or enemy action have been brought down in enemy territory,” said 2nd Lt. Lambert Van Eerden, platoon commander Company L, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “These missions are a special capability that the Marine Corps has. We go and find the pilot, authenticate him, recover him and get him back to friendly territory. We also make sure to sanitize any type of material on the aircraft that may be sensitive. If history has shown us anything in terms of aircraft, it’s that there will always be problems and pilots will always need assistance.”

    Within 30 minutes of receiving a TRAP mission, Marines trained to conduct them can be suited up and on their way to the crash site.

    The speed at which the TRAP missions are conducted helps maintain the momentum of operations and ensures the Marine Corps remains in a good position to react and be flexible, says Van Eerden.

    “The Marine Corps likes to have all of its mission capabilities in house and organic,” said Van Eerden. "This is especially important when dealing with a SP-MAGTF and its specific mission sets. Having a unit that is specially trained and designated to perform TRAP missions that is organic to the MAGTF streamlines the process even further and improves organization drastically.”

    Though an efficient and seemingly simple operation, conducting a TRAP mission can be incredibly complex and requires the cooperation of several components within the MAGTF.

    “It’s a group effort,” said Sgt Kameron Chavez, an avionics technician with SP-MAGTF-CR-CC 15.2. “The ground side needs to be on the same page as the air crew and vice versa. If the communication is not on point, then the whole process is slowed and it’s a headache for everyone. But once everyone learns what they need to do and when they need to do it, everything goes smoothly and the mission is successful.”

    The SP-MAGTF is a shore-based unit trained and equipped to complete many different mission sets—from TRAP to embassy reinforcement, and from air strikes to humanitarian assistance. The unit will deploy to the CENTCOM area of responsibility in the spring of 2015.



    Date Taken: 02.14.2015
    Date Posted: 02.13.2015 20:44
    Story ID: 154521
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US 

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