Photo Information

A Navy corpsman with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, provides security while Marines rescue a simulated downed pilot during Tactical Rescue of Aircraft Personnel training, at Camp Pendleton, March 21. During the TRAP mission instructors with Special Operations Training Group observed and monitored how the Marines reacted to multiple combat scenarios. The TRAP mission provides Marines with real world scenarios to prepare them for deployment.

Photo by Cpl. Mark Garcia

Real world training prepares Marines for upcoming deployment

22 Mar 2013 | Cpl. Mark Garcia

Instructors with Special Operations Training Group conducted Tactical Rescue of Aircraft Personnel training with Marines from 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Pendleton, March 21.

During the TRAP mission instructors observed and monitored how Marines reacted to multiple combat scenarios. Scenarios included a helicopter insert, followed by a foot patrol while receiving multiple engagements from simulated enemies.

Despite the obstacles placed before them, the Marines still had to make their way to the simulated downed pilot, stabilize him and then carry him to a cleared landing zone where they were extracted by helicopter. The real world training exercise is designed to see how quickly and efficiently Marines can complete the mission.

“We want to make the training as realistic as possible. If you don’t have enemy personnel in the area then its just going to be an easy day and a simple mission,” said Sgt. Ronald Gunns, a TRAP instructor with SOTG, from Philadelphia. “If you don’t throw friction in there to see how they actually think on the move with a little more pressure on their shoulders then it’s not going to be effective training.”

The training is important, because of the possible real world scenarios that await Marines upon their deployment.

“We’re Marines. We don’t just deploy somewhere and it’s a candy show,” Gunns said. “We have got people trying to kill us out there so if we don’t add that in to the training we won’t be able to see the full potential of the unit that’s here before they deploy out. If you don’t practice what you could potentially be doing on a Marine expeditionary unit or wherever you’re going then you’re going to be lost when it comes time for you to actually do your job. If you don’t practice how you’re going to work then it’s pointless for you to deploy.”

Marines going through the TRAP course receive classroom training and conduct practical application of the missions. After the Marines have an understanding of the exercise they start conducting day and night rescue missions.

“It’s something new for each unit that comes in here,” said Tyler Jones, a TRAP instructor with SOTG, from Le Grande, Ore. “We teach them how to rescue personnel that are isolated whether it be aircraft personnel or sometimes other special unit teams.”

Once Marines complete the TRAP course, they will continue to train for their upcoming deployments.