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Marine Forces Europe and Africa

United States Marine Corps

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It’s a TRAP: SPMAGTF-CR-AF 19.2 executes training

By Story by Cpl. Margaret Gale | 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit | April 15, 2019


TROIA, Portugal – The Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 19.2, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, conducted a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel training exercise in Troia, Portugal, Feb. 5, 2019. TRAP rehearsals allow the Marines to become proficient in locating and authenticating isolated personnel. TRAP is a core mission of SPMAGTF-CR-AF and the task force must continuously streamline efficiencies in order to provide a fast and efficient crisis response force.
During the TRAP scenario, the SMPAGTF-CR-AF 19.2 ground combat element, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, integrated with the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, to successfully locate, recover, and transport the simulated isolated personnel back to the recovery aircraft.
“This training is very beneficial for the Marines and to the unit,” said 2nd Lt. Paul Grimaldo, a platoon commander with SPMAGTF-CR-AF 19.2. “It allows for us to verify our ability to conduct rapid response planning when necessary.”
The Marines rehearsed step down procedures in the days prior to execution of the TRAP scenario. The rehearsals familiarized the Marines with crisis response procedures within a designated time-frame. Throughout the rehearsal, Marines accounted for gear, executed functions checks, pre-combat checks, and inspections in order to streamline efficiency, ultimately, decrease response time.
“Overall, I think the training went well,” said Grimaldo. “In order to better prepare, we plan on executing more internal rehearsals and training frequently with adjacent units to hone in on the necessary tactics required to conduct these types of missions.”
This training allowed SPMAGTF-CR-AF 19.2 to improve their skills and provide a fast and skilled crisis response force to U.S. Africa Command.