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TRAP drill unites Thai U.S. forces with common objective

By Cpl. James Smith | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni | February 13, 2014

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Royal Thai Air Force Flying Officer Satapat Rattana, runs into an MV-22B Osprey during a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel drill Feb. 13 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing combined interoperability. Rattana is a pilot with Squadron 403, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. The MV-22B Osprey is with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Royal Thai Air Force Flying Officer Satapat Rattana, runs into an MV-22B Osprey during a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel drill Feb. 13 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing combined interoperability. Rattana is a pilot with Squadron 403, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. The MV-22B Osprey is with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Photo by Cpl. James R. Smith)


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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand --

Two MV-22B Ospreys flew through the skies of Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel exercise Feb. 13 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014.

The Ospreys are with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing combined interoperability.

The TRAP introduced a mock scenario where MV-22 pilots worked together with Royal Thai Air Force members to search and rescue a pilot of a downed aircraft.

“The purpose behind a TRAP is to rescue downed aircrew or personnel behind enemy lines,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Matthew Forshee, a pilot with VMM-262. “We don’t perform a lot of combat search and rescue with the Osprey, which is why we execute TRAP.”

The TRAP drills help increase combined capabilities and provide training for subordinate elements and participating Thai personnel said U.S. Marine Capt. Kris Hansen, a pilot with VMM-262.

“We use the same doctrine and the same procedures (as the U.S. Marines),” said Flying Officer Satapat Rattana, a pilot with Squadron 403, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. “It’s not too hard to follow because everything is step by step, but the language barrier makes it challenging at times.”

Between the U.S. and Thai forces participating in the maneuver, neither side had much experience in executing TRAP operations, but both were able to perform the procedures well.

One factor helping the operation run smoothly was the bridging of brevity codes as both sides could understand what was being said.

“It was rewarding and reassuring because both Thai and U.S. practiced at the same level and were on the same page,” said Forshee. “That’s the most important thing because, if the time comes, we’ll be able to work together in a bilateral effort to rescue personnel from behind enemy lines.”

Now that U.S. and Thai forces are synced with operational procedures, obstacles will test service members as training continues to increase difficulty and challenges their bilateral operability.

ImageCG 14 ImageExercise Cobra Gold 2014 ImageIwakuni ImageJAPAN ImageRoyal Thai Military ImageThailand ImageTRAP

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