Photo Information

1st Lt. Joshua Foster provides security for his team during the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel portion of the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 3, 2015. TRAP’s placement in a MCCRE is meant to evaluate Marines on this mission set which is performed for the specific purpose of the recovery of personnel, equipment, and/or aircraft by the insertion of a TRAP force. 1st Lt. Foster is a platoon commander with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Devan Gowans

2/7 springs into TRAP

20 Dec 2015 | Lance Cpl. Devan Gowans I Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, conducted Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, or TRAP, as part of a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Dec. 3, 2015.

TRAP’s placement in a MCCRE is meant to evaluate Marines on essential procedures, which are performed for the specific purpose of the recovery of personnel, equipment and/or aircraft by the insertion of a force to the respective location.

The MCCRE team assesses the battalion’s collective performance in a series of requisite tasks to prepare for an upcoming deployment.

With aerial support from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marines with Company F, 2nd Bn., 7th Marines, inserted on the outskirts of a mock urban environment by two MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The TRAP mission required them to infiltrate the town and locate and recover a simulated, downed unmanned aerial vehicle.

“If a pilot or aircraft goes down, we can be counted on to recover the pilot or the critical components of that aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Evan Eldridge, a platoon sergeant with Company F. “It’s similar to a raid scenario, where we are tasked with swiftly moving into the town, completing our objective, and quickly extracting by whatever asset is available to us.”

After strategically moving throughout the area of operation and locating the mock UAV, the Marines returned to the outskirts of the town to extract from the area in the Osprey with the recovered equipment in hand.

Prior to the TRAP evaluation, Marines with 2nd Bn., 7th Marines, completed various TRAP drills to include a course offered by the Expeditionary Operations Training Group, increasing their swiftness and efficiency in the difficult task.

Because of the consistent training, the Marines are becoming more familiar with the complexities of the mission, according to Lance Cpl. Alex Chagaris, a squad leader with Company F. The skills required to carry out this task take practice to become proficient, and the team has been improving greatly.

TRAP exercises, like the one conducted during the MCCRE, aim to strengthen Marines’ combat readiness and refine the rudimentary skillset needed to capably perform a rescue and recovery mission.