Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines with Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, performed a live-fire mounted and moving shoot aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 1.
The all-day exercise consisted of the following three stages of fire: firing the .50-caliber heavy machine gun and M240 heavy machine gun from the sitting position, firing the machine guns mounted on two 7-ton medium tactical vehicle, and shooting at targets while riding in two mine resistant ambush protected vehicles.
The Marines that performed the course were newer to the unit. They were instructed by the sergeants and instructors that taught the junior Marines how to apply the basics of firing and how to maintain accurate suppressive fire.
“Training like this is very beneficial, and it’s a great experience to refresh on the basics of the machine gun,” said Lance Cpl. Rick J. Haschke, training noncommissioned officer for Truck Company. “It’s great to use this training to prepare us for combat because it does the job of reminding us how to properly operate both weapon systems.”
The Marines were also training with a heavy machine gun sight mounted to the .50-cal. machine guns that the unit received earlier this year. The optic is currently being used in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and has day optics with rails on either side to attach night vision optics.
“For the Marines, the hands on training is the best, and they learn the most compared to sitting in the classroom,” said Staff Sgt. Zachary J. Wayton, staff noncommissioned officer of the machine gun section at the Division Training Center. “We had great instructors teach us what we know, and then we take that and pass it on to the Marines we train.”
The culminating event for the Marines was performing a live-fire with the two heavy machine guns mounted while riding in the vehicles and calling out the locations of the targets.
“What the Marines are learning is extremely beneficial. Especially when they go to combat knowing how to mount and provide accurate suppressive fire at the enemy when the time comes,” said Wayton. “The most important things about this training that I hope the Marines learn are safety, basics of the machine gun, loading and unloading and accurate fire on target.”