MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
As Marines shouted “look left, look right, back blast area all secure… Rocket!” a earth shaking bang echoed through the trees as shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapons were fired at dummy tanks.
Marines from Weapons Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, shot SMAWs as part of their training July 24.
The purpose of the training was to refresh the Weapons Platoon Marines with the SMAW and to let those Marines, such as mortarman, machine gunners, and up and coming assaultman who had never shot the weapon, get the training as well.
Before firing, the Marines ran through dry runs to practice firing, loading, unloading and what the remedial action is if there is a misfire.
“This training is extremely beneficial especially for the Marines who don’t get a chance to do stuff like this often, if ever,” Staff Sgt. Eugene Carle Jr., a weapons platoon sergeant and the range safety officer, said. “I was on my second enlistment before I ever shot a SMAW, so I’m glad that I can get these Marines out here early on to shoot a weapon like this so they get the training and experience that’s needed.”
Once they were finished with dry runs they shot spotting rounds at the tanks to make sure they were on target. They then loaded the 83mm rockets and began firing at the objective.
“We don’t do training like this too often, but when we can we try and have fun with it and make it a good learning experience for all the Marines,” said Carle.
For Marines like Cpl. Brandyn Burke, an assault section leader and Phoenix native, it was his last chance to give back what was taught to him. He is trying to make a lateral move to the explosive ordnance disposal field soon.
“I plan on trying to move over to (Explosive Ordinance Disposal), so this is one of the last field exercises I will get a chance to do and I want to pass on everything I know,” said Burke. “I enjoyed spending time with 2/2, but it will be sad leaving them and I have learned a lot being here.”
After the training was finished and the last rocket fired, the Marines gathered around to discuss what went well and to thank the Marines who assisted the junior Marines in teaching them the basics.