Photo Information

Team leader Cpl. Gerrick J. Watkins, right, and fellow squad members rehearse exiting a CH-46E Sea Knight parked on an air-station apron here Aug. 30 during a four-day course in which Company L riflemen learned to recover downed or lost pilots and personnel. Company L is one of three rifle companies in Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground-combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Pilots from the unit’s aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), flew helicopters in support of the course. Watkins is a 21-year-old Dallas native.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter

Platoon trains to recover isolated personnel

2 Sep 2011 | Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

A platoon with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit learned the importance of recovering troops trapped behind enemy lines during a course here Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.

Third Platoon, Company L, transported by the unit's aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), participated in classroom lectures, practical applications and simulated full-scale missions during the four-day Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel course.

Company L is the unit’s second rifle company to participate in the course since becoming a complete Marine air-ground task force in May.

The course, hosted by I Marine Expeditionary Force's Special Operations Training Group, trains small forces on what equipment to recover or destroy on aircraft, and to how quickly return isolated personnel to friendly lines.

Before the course started, platoon commander 1st Lt. Scott D. Williams spoke to those in his charge about the importance of becoming a proficient TRAP platoon.

“Our first mission is to ask questions, learn, and understand the information that is taught” said Williams, a 31-year-old Oviedo, Fla., native. “Our second mission is to communicate to our highers that we can be a go-to force when needed.”

The training comes less than a year after a U.S. Air Force pilot was rescued in Libya by Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Company L is one of three rifle companies with Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground combat element for the unit, scheduled to deploy this fall.


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