FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Marines with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division conduct a deployment for training exercise at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Feb. 5 - 27, 2018.
The DFT provides the opportunity to overcome home station range limitations as well as exercise the battalion’s capability to deploy equipment and personnel.
The mission of 2nd Tank Battalion is to close with and destroy the enemy using armor-protected firepower, shock effect, and maneuver, and to provide precision direct fires against enemy armor, fighting vehicles, troops, and hardened positions.
To maximize overall training, the unit looked for a suitable location to implement their skills in an unfamiliar terrain and overcome home station range limitations.
“The significance of 2nd Tank Battalions DFT to Fort Stewart is the closure of SR-10 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Randy Phillips, the operations chief with the unit. “We looked through all of the East Coast and found Fort Stewart as a good base to not only fire, but also work on some of the other capabilities we have in the battalion."
Marines completed semi-annual day and night gunnery qualifications to sustain proficiency and enhance maximum operational effectiveness.
“This exercise allowed us to not only train tank gunnery but also machine gun tactics, logistic train convoys and establish a rear maintenance facility,” said Phillips.
The maintenance facility provided Marines a centralized location with the capability to maintain the various types of vehicles and equipment used throughout the exercise.
Marines also conducted training non-live fire force-on-force training, unstabilized gunnery, a machine gun range, company lane-training and tank gun tables 3 – 6.
“The priority was training the tank crew gunnery ranges, then it was maneuver training for the tank platoons and company, and then we looked at how we can train the Headquarters and Service Company Marines,” said Phillips. We didn’t only focus on tank gunnery and skills, we used this base to its full capability and got training for the whole battalion, which includes 500 Marines and sailors.”
The exercise allowed Marines to strengthen unit cohesion and maintain a constant state of readiness to answer the nation’s call in any clime and place.
“I’m always impressed with the Marines, especially being away from their families for 37 days,” said 1st Lt. Charles Johnson, a tank platoon commander with the unit. “It’s a test for the Marines but so far, I have seen them persevere and rise to the occasion. The training has been a phenomenal opportunity and it’s a benefit to the platoon, company and ultimately the battalion. I think we are leaving a better unit from here than when we arrived.”