MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors from Bravo Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, shot shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon (SMAW) and AT-4 rocket launchers as part of their training, April 17, 2013.
The purpose of the training was to refresh the Bravo Co. Marines with the rocket launcher types. The training also benefitted those Marines, such as mortar men, machine gunners and in-training assault men, who had never shot the weapon before.
Before firing, the Marines performed “dry runs” to practice how to properly engage the weapons and how to correct or fix a misfire.
“This is our annual training and re-familiarization with the weapons we usually don’t get to shoot,” said Master Sgt. Andrew Jones, the operations chief with Bravo Co. “We typically can only do this once or twice a year, so it’s really beneficial when we are given the opportunity.”
Once they finished the dry runs, they shot spotting rounds at the decommissioned tanks used as targets to make sure they were accurate. Then they took their positions with the AT-4s, loaded the 83mm rockets into the SMAWs and began firing at the objective.
“You never know when you’re going to be deployed and you will be required to use these weapon systems,” said Jones. “It is pretty essential that all the Marines here can be familiar with them.”
For Marines like Cpl. Josh Cumba, a squad leader from Tampa, Fla., it was his first time shooting the rockets.
“This is the first time I have ever shot the SMAW,” said Cumba. “Training like this is very beneficial for me, so I can pass my knowledge on to my junior Marines if they ever have any questions about the weapon systems.”
After the training was finished and the last rocket was fired, the Marines discussed what went well and what they should improve on for the next training exercise.