Train How We Fight
By Lance Cpl. Dylan Chagnon, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit
The Marines of Alpha Co., 1st Law Enforcement Battalion conducted firing drills throughout the day and into the night in preparation for their upcoming deployment with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit next June. This training introduced the Marines to the M2 Browning 50 cal. and the M249 SAW machine gun. They also maintained proficiency on the M240B medium machine gun. The drills were conducted from firing positions on the ground as well as mounted positions on Humvees.
“In a deployed environment our main mission is convoy operations and security,” said Cpl. Collin Myers, a squad leader with Alpha Co., 1st LE Bn. “In a convoy we’ll be using all three of these weapon systems based on the needs of a specific mission, so the Marines need to be familiar with how to thoroughly operate each weapon system.”
The Marines, alongside weapons training, conducted direct and indirect firing on targets at various distances during both the day and night training renditions. During the night live-fire, the Marines implemented the PVS-17 miniature night sight, a night vision optic, to enhance their ability to provide effective fire support.
Familiarization with operating vehicles and weapons at night is a vital skill when in a deployed environment, said 2nd Lt. Roy Axcellmckeever, a platoon commander for Alpha Co., 1st LE Bn.
The Marines’ expertise on multiple weapon systems is important to mission accomplishment and success during deployments.
“I think the Marines benefited greatly from this exercise,” said Myers. “They’re leaving here thoroughly seasoned with all three of the weapon systems.”