Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune --
Marines and sailors with 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, conducted a live-fire training exercise with M777A2 155 mm howitzers March 6-8, 2013, aboard Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune.
The exercise consisted of in-direct and direct-fire events where Marines were given a mission and had to aim the howitzer to the right location before firing a round down range to impact the target.
This live-fire shoot was also the last before the unit disbands and the Marines split up between the other 10th Marine Regiment units.
“The purpose of this training is a refresher for the Marines before we disband and this is also the first time we have done a direct fire [exercise] on Camp Lejeune,” said Gunnery Sgt. Phillip J. Anderson, the Lima Battery first sergeant. “They are shooting high explosive rounds to simulate hitting armored vehicles.”
Most of the Marines weren’t concerned with the upcoming disbandment as they were very excited with the direct fire shoot that a lot of them had never experienced.
“A lot of these Marines, including myself, have never done a direct-fire shoot before,” said Sgt. Ryan Molina, the section chief with gun 3, India Battery. “Even though this is the first time most of us have shot and performed this kind of exercise it has gone really well.”
With direct-fire, Marines lower the howitzer until it is level with the ground and shoot enemy targets that are in close proximity.
“Nothing changes on the gun, just instead of shooting rounds a far distance and hitting targets with in-direct fire, we can see our targets in front of us,” said Molina. “It was really exciting to get a chance to do a direct fire before we get disbanded.”
The Marines were excited to conduct the direct-fire shoot as their culminating event even though it was the last time they would get to work together with the howitzers while a part of the battalion.
“It’s good training because, [in regards to direct fire], we don’t get a chance to do it too often, so it’s a good refresher when we do get a chance to do it,” said Lance Cpl. Benjamin Little. “We all get a chance to see how to perform it correctly and I hope we can continue to do this kind of training.”