Exercise Rolling Thunder 21-1

19 Oct 2020 | Story by Cpl. Aaron Douds 2nd Marine Division

U.S. Marines and Sailors with 10th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, keep the citizens of Fort Bragg, North Carolina awake at night while they flex their capabilities through the use of artillery.

The regiment executed Exercise Rolling Thunder 21-1 on Fort Bragg, Oct. 9 through 13, 2020. Rolling Thunder is a large-scale exercise that integrates all battalions within the regiment to showcase their ability to maneuver and operate to further enhance their combat effectiveness.

The exercise is conducted twice a year with artillery and supporting assets such as Communication Battalion, Transportation Support Battalion, and Training Support Center. The regiment successfully transported 22 M777 towed 155 mm howitzers and over 1000 troops from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to the fields of Fort Bragg.

All battalions in the regiment were able to maneuver amongst each other and operate together during fire missions. Through the duration of the five-day exercise the regiment fired over 5000 rounds and executed multiple movements, both at night and during the day.

Throughout the years, artillery has been utilized to enforce dominance in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. As warfare continues to change, it is vital for Marines to conduct exercises at the magnitude of Rolling Thunder to adapt and stay ready for generations to follow.

As evolution of the Marine Corps progresses, training advances as well. Exercises done at the regimental level are becoming second nature and multiple battalions are expanding their lethality while operating together.

Mission success is the end goal of all operations, whether it be home side or overseas. Rolling Thunder is just another example of how the Marine Corps is continually preparing to win future wars.

(U.S. Marine Corps story by Cpl. Aaron Douds)