NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain -- Marines of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa continuously train to be mission-ready as a rapid crisis response force.
Alert force Marines, a part of the ground combat element for the task force, conducted a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel mission, known as TRAP, locating and extracting a simulated downed pilot aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, August 3.
“We used the MV-22B Osprey because of its capabilities to fly over great distance at a high rate of speed to move in and conduct the TRAP exercise,” said U.S. Marine 1st Lt. John B. Porter, a platoon commander with the task force. “We went through a check list of necessary procedures that were required before we deployed to execute a TRAP mission."
The Marines flew approximately 60 miles from Morón Air Base to Naval Station Rota to accomplish the TRAP mission.
“As soon as we landed, we established security and sent out a search party for the simulated downed pilot. Once the pilot was found, we rendered first aid and extracted him from the area,” said Porter.
Missions such as TRAP are one of the primary competencies of the crises response task force. Apart from TRAP, the task force's resources, capabilities, and strategic location allow it to accomplish a broad spectrum of missions ranging from partner-nation training or disaster relief and humanitarian aid, to protecting or reinforcing an embassy at the direction of U.S. Africa Command.
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While in Rota, the Marines will refine basic rifleman skills for two weeks in August. Land navigation, optics familiarization, buddy rushing and fire team movements are some of the fundamentals the platoons polish before moving into more advanced, urban combat missions.
“Without these fundamentals, we wouldn’t be able to successfully complete a mission we might be called upon. We operate in a lot of urban environment and it is good to stay sharp because it is one of the more challenging places to work in,” said Porter.
Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa is a self-sustaining crisis response force prepared for the protection of American personnel and facilities on the African continent, when directed.