Photo Information

A Marine prepares to load the charge into an M777A2 Howitzer during a live-fire range at Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 26, 2017. The purpose of this field operation is to test and improve the unit’s capabilities by putting the Marines into a simulated combat environment. The Marine is with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Holly Pernell)

Photo by LCpl. Holly Pernell

1/10 Artillery Marines prep for combat

27 Jul 2017 | 2nd Marine Division

Marines with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment conducted a live-fire range to test and improve the unit’s capabilities at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, July 24-29.

During the exercise, Marines fired an M777A2 Howitzer to maintain unit readiness and to build cohesion with their sections and enhance proficiency with their weapons.

“This [exercise] is reinforcing and validating the training we’ve been doing up to this time,” said 1st Lt. Caleb Kadrmas, a platoon commander with the battalion. “It’s developing our Marines ability to communicate from higher levels down to subordinate units and between the sections as well.”

The exercise was conducted to simulate a deployed environment by having Marines transport their own gear, sustaining large amounts of Marines in various locations and maintaining 24-hour operations.

“It’s important for an artillery unit to train to complete the battalion and regiment level objectives,” said Kadrmas. “It’s going to prepare us for any missions or operations that may be forthcoming.”

The exercise also gave Marines the opportunity to learn multiple positions within their sections to become more versatile and provide flexibility.

“You never know what might come up in the future,” said Pfc. Jose Palavicini, a field artillery cannoneer with the battalion. “You always want to be the best you can at your job and that’s why we do these field operations.”

Although it only takes around eight Marines to operate each Howitzer, it takes a lot more to run this kind of exercise, making unit cohesion crucial to complete the mission.

“Camaraderie and moral are high right now,” said Kadrmas. “It’s difficult for the Marines to stay motivated at times, but the non-commissioned officers are doing a great job at keeping everyone’s spirits high, and we are effective because of it.”

More Media