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.


Marine Corps News

Colonel Caleb Hyatt
Commanding Officer

Colonel Caleb Hyatt is a native of Tamarac, Florida. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant following graduation with merit from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001. Colonel Hyatt’s command positions include Guns Platoon Commander, Battery S, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines; Headquarters Battery Commander, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines; Battery R Commander, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines; and Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines. Colonel Hyatt has deployed in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM with artillery, light armored reconnaissance, and logistics units. Colonel Hyatt holds a BS in Computer Science, MA in Management, MMAS in Theater Operations, and an MS in National Security Strategy. Colonel Hyatt is also a 2023 distinguished graduate from the National War College.

Read Biography

Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

Read Biography

Sergeant Major Geronimo Guzman
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major Guzman enlisted in the Marine Corps in November of 1998. He attended recruit training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. In April of 1999, Private First Class Guzman transferred to the Material Readiness Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, Japan. In July of 2005, Sergeant Guzman reported to Drill Instructor School, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. In May of 2011, Staff Sergeant Guzman reported to the Officers Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia. In November of 2019, Sergeant Major Guzman was promoted to his current rank and reported to Recruiting Station Sacramento. In July 2022, Sergeant Major Guzman reported to 1st Maintenance Battalion, where he previously served as the Battalion Sergeant Major.

Read Biography