Photo Information

NAVAL AIRSTATION, NORTH ISLAND, Calif.070725 -Marines with B Company, Marine Special Operations Battalion, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit participate in fast rope drills, here. The Training in Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) is part of the MEU's pre-deployment training cycle before deployment later this year. The exercise was provided by Special Operations Training Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force. Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Bryson K. Jones (Released)

Photo by Sgt Bryson K. Jones

Marine Special Operations teams hone fast-roping skills during TRUEX

25 Jul 2007 | Sgt. Bryson K. Jones

Special operations Marines practiced employing the element of surprise with a fast-roping exercise during Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) here.

The Marines from Bravo Company, Marine Special Operations Battalion, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton, Calif., sought to fine tune a combat skill that will allow them to be inserted into a combat or crisis situation via rope in an environment where helicopter landings are impractical.

After a practice run from a tower, the company traveled to Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, and fast-roped off CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters hovering more than 30 feet over the tarmac.

The exercise also gave pilots from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (Reinforced), an opportunity to sharpen their skills. The squadron is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, and is part of the MEU’s aviation combat element.

Once fully loaded, the pilots took turns lifting teams of Marines into the air. One by one, Marines in full combat gear descended through the “hell hole” at the base of a CH-46E and slid down the rope and onto the ground.

The exercise was just one segment of a larger urban combat training evolution designed to prepare the MEU for their upcoming deployment later this year.

For more information on the 11th MEU visit their website at

Marine Corps News

Colonel Jim W. Lively
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Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit