Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Marines Train to Rescue Hostages in Hostile Situations

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Story by Cpl. John Robbart III

MARINE CORPS CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted a simulated tactical recovery of personnel as a part of MEU Exercise, April 3. Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise is the first training that integrates all elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force.

Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel missions are rehearsed using several training scenarios. This particular scenario was created by the Command Element to develop the skills of the TRAP unit. The task at hand was to recover two United States Agency for International Development workers after a medical aid mission went wrong.

“It’s like roadside assistance with firepower,” said Maj. Scott A. Huesing, senior evolution coordinator for MEUEX and the assistant operations officer, Command Element, 15th MEU, as he described a typical TRAP mission. “TRAP requires detailed coordination and specialized skill sets, which differ from standard personnel recovery,” added the 42-year-old native of Chicago.

The training involved elements from BLT 3/5 to include a combined anti-armor team, light armored reconnaissance detachment and scout snipers, who arrived in a light armored vehicle.

“This exercise allowed us to observe training from a different standpoint,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Ellis, one of the role players in the exercise and a supply warehouseman, Headquarters and Service Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “My favorite part was seeing the squad leader take charge of the situation and employing his squad effectively,” added the 22-year-old native of Chicago.

In addition to troops perfecting their skills, it allowed the different elements of the MEU to further refine planning processes.

“The TRAP missions are important for the MEU because it is one of the standing missions the MEU can be called upon to execute,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Angelo A. Alvarez, exercise control officer-in-charge of MEUEX. “MEUEX also gives the Command Element the opportunity to execute training missions in order to refine tactics, techniques and procedures,” added the 38-year-old native of San Diego.

The 15th MEU is a MAGTF comprised of approximately 2,300 Marines and sailors. This exercise is the first of five major exercises designed to prepare the unit for its deployment scheduled for this fall.

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