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An MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 flies to a landing zone during tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 6. The training was conducted as a part of the squadron’s deployment for training at Creech Air Force Base. (U.S Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tristan Engstrom/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Liah Kitchen

Greyhawks sink talons into TRAP mission

16 Dec 2016 | Lance Cpl. Liah Kitchen 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161, “Greyhawks,” conducted tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel (TRAP) training mission aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Dec. 6.
The TRAP was part of the squadron’s overall deployment for training exercise at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
A TRAP mission is performed specifically for the recovery of aircraft, personnel and equipment in the event that an aircraft goes down either due to mechanical failures or by enemy fire.

“TRAP is very important because anywhere we go, we have to have a plan to recover the personnel, aircraft and any sensitive material in the event that they go down,” said Capt. Jason Noll, a pilot and the future operations officer at VMM-161.

During a TRAP mission, Marines are tasked with the extraction or destruction of downed aircraft to prevent sensitive material from being spread.

The Greyhawks are preparing to deploy with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, where they will be expected to conduct several missions including TRAP in order to maintain mission readiness.

“It’s a very important mission that we could be tasked to complete on the 15th MEU, in order to augment the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force in the future,” said Noll.

A Marine expeditionary unit is an expeditionary quick reaction force that is deployed to respond rapidly to any crisis, whether it is a combat mission or a natural disaster.
According to Navy Lt. Stephen Dumontier, a flight surgeon with VMM-161, it is critical to be able to respond as quickly as possible in order to safely bring Marines home.

“It is important we train to a high standard as well, as a realistic standard, to be able to quickly recover personnel, as well as assist in theater,” said Noll. “Time is a huge factor so it’s something we have to be able to do quickly.

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