(2) Without the aid of references, describe in writing the technique used to lower a pilot from a tree in accordance with the references.
5. EVALUATION. You will be tested on this period of instruction by written and performance evaluation.
TRANSITION: Now that we know what to expect and what the class is about let's talk about a pilot TRAP.
1. (5 Min) TRAP. The Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) is an ACE mission similar to Combat Search and Recovery (CSAR). The main difference is the recovery of aircraft and the possible use of ground forces. As such, the TRAP force is responsible for expeditiously providing recovery and repatriation of friendly aircrews and personnel, from a wide range of political environments and threat levels. Additionally, equipment will either be recovered or destroyed depending on the threat and the condition of the downed aircraft.
a. For an Assault Climber the TRAP mission may require a lead climber to climb a tree and retrieve an unconscious/disabled pilot. To accomplish the mission safely ropecraft will be necessary.
TRANSITION: Now that we have an understanding what is a pilot TRAP, let us now discuss the equipment needed for a rescue.,
2. (10 Min) EQUIPMENT. The amount and variety of the equipment needed is situational and you must be flexible. As a general rule the following equipment is sufficient for most missions:
a. Harness or sling rope b. Static rope/165-300 ft.
c. Ten aluminum non-locking carabiners d. Six steel locking carabiners e. Fifteen assorted runners (longer the better)
(2) Two pulleys
(3) One set of gaffs and strap/crampons can work
(4) One line launcher
(5) Pitons w/ hammer
TRANSITION: Are there any questions concerning the equipment necessary to conduct a rescue? If not, let's talk about the different types of techniques to rescue the entangled personnel.
3. (20 Min) ASCENDING TECHNIQUES. Prior to executing a TRAP, a method of retrieval should be tentatively planned for. There are a number of techniques to be utilized and the situation and equipment available will determine which of these you will use.
a. Lead Climbing: Using this method a lead climber will ascend the tree using one of four techniques. All four techniques will require both the number one climber and the number two climber to tie into the end of the rope. The number two will establish an anchor and belay system as discussed in BELAYING FOR PARTY CLIMBING.
(1) By use of gaff and straps/crampons. This is the fastest and easiest means of ascending a tree. By using the strap, the climber negates having to place protection for themselves and the use of gaffs/crampons provide quick and easy footholds for ascending even the tallest of trees.
NOTE: Marines must be "pole climber" certified by the field wiremans course to use gaffs and strap.
(2) By using the girth hitch method. This method is tiring and slow but is very safe. Start by girth hitching two runners around a tree. These runners should be long enough to create about a 3-4ft. loop for the foot. The top runner is attached to the climber's harness by use of steel locking carabiner. Grip the tree and stand up in the loop of the bottom girth hitch. Slide the top girth hitch up as high as possible and hang from it. Grab the bottom girth hitch and move it as high as possible, insert your foot and stand up again. This process will repeat itself until you have gained your desired height. If you encounter branches along the way you will have to bypass them. This is done by having a third runner in which you will attach above the tree limb. You will place a girth hitch with the third runner and attach it to your harness, slide the bottom runner up as far as possible and stand so that you can slide the top runner up and bypass the tree limb.
(3) Using the Monkey method. This method is dependent on the size and type of tree being climbed. Smaller diameter trees with lots of branches are optimal. Essentially the lead climber will just free climb the tree using branches and shimmying up the trunk with appropriate protection for the climber being accomplished by placing runners around the tree in a quad hitch or girth hitch fashion.
(4) Party Climb method. This method is similar to that of the monkey method with the exception that the lead climber will place pitons in the tree or girth hitch runners around branches for protection. The climber will clip into these pieces of protection as taught in party climbing.
b. Jumar Climbing Techniques:
(1) Jumaring: In order to Jumar or "rope walk" to the pilot it is necessary to first establish a rope above the pilot. The use of a line launcher or 550 cord around a canteen will aid in getting the rope up the tree. 550 cord will be the most likely tool utilized by Marines when using this technique. You must first attach the 550 cord to a half-full canteen or a heavy carabiner; then throw it up to the desired branch to loop it around. Once this is done you can tie your climbing rope onto the 550 cord and pull the other end of the 550 cord up and around the tree branch until you have both ends on the ground. There are four methods that you can use to jumar or rope walk up the rope to the pilot:
a. Body Thrusting. This method is very tiresome but requires little gear. First the climber will tie a tautline hitch with the end of the rope then ties a figure of eight above the tautline hitch and clips it into his harness with a locking carabiner. The climber will then pull down on the opposite rope that he is tied into, sliding the tautline hitch up along with him which will act as the friction device (a jumar here works really well and is easier to control). To work your way back down the climber will break the tautline hitch so he can slide it down and do everything in reverse to work his way down the tree.
b. Footlocking: This method is also tiresome and requires little gear. This is similar to hand over hand method (i.e.. the O course ropes). The climber will attach a Prusik knot to the two ropes hanging down from the tree and attach that to his harness then hand over hand his way up using his feet to bend and lock the rope in place to aid him in ascending the rope. To get down the climber will do everything in reverse.
c. Jumar/Texas Kick: This method is the easiest but requires the most gear. The climber will attach one end of the rope to his harness using a figure eight with carabiner clipped into hard point. Next the climber will attach a foot jumar and a chest jumar or Texas Kick Prusik (as discussed in Glacier Travel) to the opposite rope to which the climber is tied into. The climber will then slide the top jumar (body Prusik) as high as possible then slide the foot jumar up and stand, unweighting the top jumar so that it can be moved up higher. This process will repeat itself until the climber has reached the desired height.
d. Haul system: This is the most desired method and requires very little gear but requires manpower. Once the rope is looped around the treelimb the climber will tie into one end of the rope, then a mule team will hoist the climber up to the desired height.
NOTE: All of these techniques require the rope to run in the crotch of a tree branch and the trunk of the tree, so rope wear should be considered because of the friction that is occurring when ascending.
TRANSITION: Now that we have reached the pilot and have him securely rigged, let us discuss the procedure for lowering him safely to the ground.
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