Photo Information

LCpl. Thomas Abbott, a motor transport operator with Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, fires an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon downrange aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. Aug. 13, 2015. This range is in preparation for the training exercise to be conducted in Georgia later in the month. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Miranda Faughn/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Miranda Faughn

Truck Co. Marines train in weapons systems techniques

18 Aug 2015 | Lance Cpl. Miranda Faughn 2nd Marine Division

Marines with Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, sent over 7,500 bullets down range from the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M240B Machine Gun and the M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun aboard Camp Lejeune North Carolina, Aug. 13, 2015.

The Marines began with basic machine gun gunnery and worked their way up to the range by going to the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer. They then broke down the weapons and got familiarized with the weapons systems. 

“We are going down to Georgia for deployment training. It’s called a deployment for training or DFT. We’re going to be going to [Marine Corps Support facility] in Blount Island, Florida.  First we’re doing a Maritime Prepositioning Force offload, and getting gear and rolling it up to Fort Stewart, Georgia in order to execute some ranges,” said Sergeant Jerimiah Stockert, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, Headquarters Battalion Truck Co. “There, they will be doing some live-fire movement, convoy shoots, and things along those lines. This is definitely getting them familiarized for that.”

Cpl. Bryce Balfanz, a fire team leader with 1st Platoon, Headquarters Battalion Truck Co., believes live fires are the best way to learn new weapons.

“There is nothing like live-fire, you can…go through the ISMT all you want and take apart the gun and practice fire but once you actually send rounds down range that’s the best  training you can get,” said Balfanz.

Stockert agreed with Balfanz by saying this training shows him which Marines in his platoon are more proficient when it comes to crew-served weapons systems. This training also gives him the capability to have all his Marines knowledgeable enough to be able to put them in a place to use the gun on one of his vehicles if needed.

Balfanz continued on to say that live-fire ranges increase unit readiness as well as preparing them for future deployments.

“I want the junior Marines to get more experience [on] how the gun can malfunction and how they can fix it, what to look for when it does, what it feels like when it shoots and just basic knowledge of the gun.” said Balfanz.