Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune --
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
“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