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A Marine pulls a cord to fire a 120-mm mortar as part of Exercise Bold Alligator at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Oct. 23, 2017. Bold Alligator is designed to showcase the capabilities of the Navy-Marine Corps team, and demonstrate our cohesion with allied nations. The U.S. Marines and British troops gained camaraderie through integrated training, allowing them to familiarize themselves with each other’s capabilities. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Pfc. Nicholas Guevara)

Photo by Pfc. Nicholas Guevara

Fire from the sky: Marines fire mortars as part of Exercise Bold Alligator

26 Oct 2017 | Pfc. Nicholas Guevara 2nd Marine Division

The sounds of explosions filled the air as smoke poured out of a 120-mm mortar’s barrel during a live-fire artillery exercise as part of Exercise Bold Alligator at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 26, 2017.
The live-fire exercise, taken part by U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, freed up battle space for follow-on operations for the allied nations at Camp Lejeune as a coalition for Bold Alligator.
“We are currently in support of the 45 Commando Royal Marines for this exercise,” said 1st. Lt. Jacob Turk, a battery executive officer with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment. “It’s important to be able to integrate fires to the scheme of maneuver so that afterwards our infantry guys can come in and take their objectives later in the operations.”
The Marines sent live mortar rounds down range during various fire missions. The fire missions themselves were sporadic, which allowed the Marines effectively exercise their ability to operate in an environment where anything can happen at a moment’s notice.
“It’s a constant rotation of both preparing our equipment and our Marines,” said Turk. “We are all using different weapon systems so we have to all work together to complete the missions.”
The live fire exercise served as an opportunity for U.S. and British troops to share their combat capabilities and become familiar with the difference in equipment to better understand how each other operate.
“Exercises like these demonstrate what the artillery community can do as a whole while in support of friendly forces,” said Sgt. Gino Morato, a platoon Sergeant with the unit. “It helps with accurately timed fire and prepares us for any future exercises we may have with them.”
As Exercise Bold Alligator comes to an end for this year, the joint training and camaraderie will continue on, looking forward toward future coalition operations.

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