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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines conduct Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel training

By Lance Cpl. Isabelo Tabanguil | 3rd Marine Regiment | December 1, 2017


U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment participated in a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel training event at Landing Zone Boondocker, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Oct. 26, 2017.

The TRAP training event rehearsed the search and rescue of a downed pilot in enemy territory.

“We don’t get to do this type of training often so it was a good opportunity for the Marines to get out there and get to see what this looks like in a realistic scenario,” said Staff Sgt. Jackson Felshaw, a section leader with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, and a native of Orlando, Fla. “For this exercise we moved in between the big Island of Hawaii to Oahu in Ospreys, giving the Marines the perspective of coming off a ship like they would in a real life situation.”

Felshaw said the training was successfully completed with very few problems.

“The Marines executed the mission very well, we were able to recover the pilot, identify and treat his injuries, and get him on the aircraft,” Felshaw said.

Hospitalman Third Class Timothy Lucsom, a corpsman with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, and a native of Buffalo, N.Y., said it’s necessary to prioritize the condition of a downed pilot.

“There are three categories to follow in this type of situation,” Lucsom said. “Whether the pilot can walk on his own, can’t move without assistance, or the third category where his condition is unknown.”

Lucsom said these categories determine the location of the downed pilot.

“With those first two categories we can know what area the pilot is most likely to be positioned,” Lucsom said. “Unfortunately with the third category we don’t know the actual condition of the pilot, so we attach the corpsmen with the combat search and rescue teams to go out and find him.”

1st Lt. Forrest Seaman, a platoon commander with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, and a native of Fredon, N.J., said it’s important for Marines to focus on certain aspects of a TRAP.

“They need to understand to the mission at hand, to know that we’re not out there to seek out the enemy, but to recover a downed friendly pilot that we need to get back safely,” Seaman said.

Seaman said although they don’t get to do TRAP’s often, he believed the Marines performed well.

“Ideally we would get to do one or two repetitions of this type of training, but that doesn’t happen all the time,” Seaman said. “Overall I think this training was successful, there’s always room for improvement, but the Marines did their jobs and it was great to work with the Ospreys from the Red Dragons and the Cobras from Scarface during this exercise.”