By Staff Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy, Marine Corps Forces Europe
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — Marines of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa continuously train to be mission-ready as a rapid crisis response force.
Alert force Marines, a part of the ground combat element for SPMAGTF-CR-AF, conducted a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel mission, locating and extracting a simulated downed pilot aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, August 3.
“We used the MV-22B Osprey because of its capabilities to fly over great distance at a high rate of speed to move in and conduct the TRAP exercise,” said 1st Lt. John B. Porter, a platoon commander with SPMAGTF-CR-AF. “We went through a check list of necessary procedures that were required before we deployed to execute a TRAP mission.
The Marines flew approximately 60 miles from Morón Air Base to NS Rota to accomplish the TRAP mission.
“As soon as we landed, we established security and sent out a search party for the simulated downed pilot. Once the pilot was found, we rendered first aid and extracted him from the area,” said Porter.
Missions such as TRAP are one of the primary competencies of SPMAGTF-CR-AF. Apart from TRAP, SPMAGTF-CR-AF’s resources, capabilities, and strategic location allow it to accomplish a broad spectrum of missions ranging from partner-nation training or disaster relief and humanitarian aid, to protecting or reinforcing an embassy at the direction of U.S. Africa Command.
While in Rota, the Marines will refine basic rifleman skills during a two-week package August 4-15. Land navigation, optics familiarization, buddy rushing and fire team movements are some of the fundamentals the platoons polish before moving into more advanced, urban combat missions.
“Without these fundamentals, we wouldn’t be able to successfully complete a mission we might be called upon. We operate in a lot of urban environment and it is good to stay sharp because it is one of the more challenging places to work in,” said Porter. “It is going to be one of constant themes of improving on basic skills and MOUT to be prepared to any crisis we may be called upon.”
SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a self-sustaining crisis response force prepared for the protection of American personnel and facilities on the African continent, when directed.