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  • 2014
Marine assaultmen rocket back to their roots

By Lance Cpl. William Perkins, Defense Media Activity

Lance Cpl. Scott Wern, an assaultman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and fellow Marines prepare to fire a volley of rockets aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 22, 2014. The Marines performed the rocket drills to  sustain of the Marine’s operational abilities.
Marines of 2/5 rocket back to their roots
Lance Cpl. Scott Wern, an assaultman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and fellow Marines prepare to fire a volley of rockets aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 22, 2014. The Marines performed the rocket drills to sustain of the Marine’s operational abilities.
Marines with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, fire a spotting round with a Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 21, 2014. Spotting rounds allow the gunner to engage targets effectively before following up with a rocket and hitting the objective. The Marines performed rocket drills to retain operational abilities.
Marines of 2/5 rocket back to their roots
Marines with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, fire a spotting round with a Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 21, 2014. Spotting rounds allow the gunner to engage targets effectively before following up with a rocket and hitting the objective. The Marines performed rocket drills to retain operational abilities.
Assaultmen with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, conducted a live-fire range with MK153 Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapons aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, August 21-22, 2014. 
For the Marines, the training provided extra trigger time using integrated elements such as coordinated volleys and an evaluated night portion.

The 42 Marines were provided with 46 rockets to improve their abilities to manipulate, control and become comfortable their assigned weapon system.

Corporal Dustin Sterr, an assaultman with 2/5, Company E said, “We’re at the beginning of our work-ups so we’re mainly working with the gun teams because for a lot of them, they’re brand new.”

The junior Marines among the three participating companies shot most of the rounds during several repetitions with guidance from the more senior Marines.

“Our new Marines were doing this for the first time and they were a little jittery, but that’s to be expected,” Lance Corporal Chance Seckinger, an assaultman with 2/5, Company F said,

The Marines faced basic malfunctions when firing the weapon systems, which required immediate actions and safe disposal of the defective ordnance. 

“There were definitely some issues at the start like weapon malfunctions and time it took to fire, but as they started rolling through, there was an obvious improvement,” said Sterr.

the assaultmen spent the weeks prior conducting academic and practical application routines to ensure safe and proficient engagement to combat inexperience.

“We had classes on every subject we’ve done out here,” said Sterr. “We had demo classes, SMAW classes and even took our rockets into the ‘backyard’ and practiced gun drills.”

Once the Marines establish a concrete grasp when converting their actions from the classroom to a field setting, they can transition their knowledge to other infantry roles.

“Now the Marines can take the knowledge gained here back to their companies and help them when they’re relied on to engage a target with a SMAW or destroy an obstacle with demo,” said Sterr.

 The training will allow the Marines to perform their duties as an assaultman in any clime and place in the distant or near future.

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