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Cpl. Alexander Beaver, gun chief, gun 3, Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, shouts commands to the Marines on his gun in order to shoot rounds off. The Marines of 10th Marine Regiment participated in a training exercise called Rolling Thunder, where they went to Army Base Fort Bragg for three days and fine tuned their artillery skills.

Photo by Cpl. Ed Galo

10th Marines participate in Rolling Thunder

14 Oct 2011 | Cpl. Ed Galo

The Marines of 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, took part in a training evolution called Rolling Thunder aboard Army Base Fort Bragg, N.C., beginning Oct. 7 and will be there for about three weeks.

The training exercise gives the Marines the ability to shoot artillery rounds off at a battery level, then battalion level and finally at a regimental level. Toward the end of the exercise, the maneuvers get more and more complicated as all of the battalions within the regiment have to be able to communicate with one another in order to maneuver and shoot rounds down range.

“We’ve shot a lot since we’ve got here and have been moving constantly,” said Sgt. Robert Rogers, section chief, Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. “I think the most effective part of the training is the moving.”

One of the other advantages of traveling to Fort Bragg is the size difference. Since Fort Bragg is bigger, the Marines have more space to shoot and bigger impact areas to shoot at.

“Coming out here gives the Marines some good experience,” continued Rogers, a native of Birmingham, Ala. “We can do a lot more here than we can on Lejeune. We can shoot different kinds of missions and we can have a whole regiment out here at once.”

In order to be able to shoot the rounds, it takes a lot, logistically, for the batteries, battalions and regiment to be able to operate. It takes more than just having Marines with the military occupational specialty of 0811, field artillery cannoneer.

“One of the unique things about a battery is that there are over 20 different MOS’,” said Capt. Joshua Montero, battery commander, Battery F, 2nd Battalion 12th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. “A lot goes into sending one round out. There is everything from cooks, to (motor transportation) drivers, to radiomen out here all working together to support the guys who are shooting rounds.”

Montero, a Dallas native, said he also believes Rolling Thunder is a good experience for the Marines.

“We can try new things,” continued Montero. “There are fewer targets at Lejeune. We can also shoot more guns at the same time. Shooting four to 72 guns at the same time is real impressive and doesn’t always happen.”

Also helping the Marines of 10th Marine Regiment were Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment-2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

“We’ve been resupplying them with food, ammo and water,” said Maj. Dan Rosenberg, operations officer, CLB-2, 2nd MLG. “We minimize, logistically, the strain on 10th Marines.”

The Marines with CLB-2 helped with everything from purifying over 150-200 thousand gallons of potable water for showers and drinking to refueling all the vehicles used to transport the Marines and their equipment to and around Fort Bragg.

“Not having CLB-2 would impact our training too much,” said Maj. Matthew Maz, commanding officer, Battery HQ, 10th Marine Regiment. “We would have spent too much time trying to coordinate getting our food and trying to resupply every battery in the regiment. We wouldn’t have been able to maintain our current operational tempo. You’ve got to train like you fight.”