By Lance Cpl. Abrey D. Liggins, II Marine Expeditionary Force
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; line-height: 22px; color: #666666; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal;">Marine field artillery cannoneers with 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment and British commando gunners with 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery participated in field artillery training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 11, 2017.
British soldiers exchanged knowledge and skills with U.S. Marines to refine their artillery operation capabilities in preparation for joint exercise Bold Alligator, a large-scale, multinational Naval amphibious exercise to execute complex shaping, amphibious, and sea basing operations to improve U.S. and coalition ship-to-shore capabilities.
“We’ve been doing artillery training for the past week, preparing ourselves for exercise Bold Alligator with our coalition forces,” said Lt. Paul Wilson, a commando gunner with 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery.
International training increases knowledge of job-related skills and allows for more opportunities to challenge each other to strengthen overall readiness.
“Looking at how [the U.S. Marines] do things and how they use their equipment, we see minute differences in how we do things,” said Lt. Tom Brindley-Slater, a commando gunner with 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery. “Being an [artillery gunner], the results are the same in the end.”
Training with other units reminds the soldiers to improve upon their own training regimes to increase proficiency with their M119A3 Howitzers.
Brindley-Slater said the biggest challenge is the difference in climate. The humid conditions in North Carolina offer a new challenge that only makes them better prepared to be sent anywhere in the world.
During wartime, the ability for ally forces to work cohesively is imperative to ensure mission accomplishment. When it comes to operating field artillery weapon systems, all gunners have the one goal of providing support for their units.
“It’s important for us to understand how everyone operates,” said Wilson. “When we work together during operations, we can understand how each other work; this essentially gets all of the pieces together as one.”