12

Nov

2015

U.S. Marines get hands on with new mortar system

By Sgt. Owen Kimbrel, I Marine Expeditionary Force


U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, rush with their weapons system as they conduct live-fire training on the new M252A2 81mm mortar system at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015.  The training allowed the Marines, who are charged with providing security of Al Asad, an opportunity to hone their tactics, techniques and procedures in employment of the system, further reinforcing their ability to provide protection to their coalition and Iraqi Security Force partners as part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s building partner capacity mission.
US Marines get hands on with new mortar system
U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, rush with their weapons system as they conduct live-fire training on the new M252A2 81mm mortar system at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015. The training allowed the Marines, who are charged with providing security of Al Asad, an opportunity to hone their tactics, techniques and procedures in employment of the system, further reinforcing their ability to provide protection to their coalition and Iraqi Security Force partners as part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s building partner capacity mission.
U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, assemble a new M252A2 81mm mortar system during a live-fire training mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015. The training allowed the Marines to build their proficiency with the new weapons system.  This unit is supporting the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, which is a coalition of regional and international nations who have joined together to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region and the wider international community.
US Marines get hands on with new mortar system
U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, assemble a new M252A2 81mm mortar system during a live-fire training mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015. The training allowed the Marines to build their proficiency with the new weapons system. This unit is supporting the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, which is a coalition of regional and international nations who have joined together to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region and the wider international community.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Parra, a fires direction center coordinator with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, performs gun drills during a live-fire training mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015.  The training allowed the Marines to become familiar with the M252A2 81mm mortar system as they honed their tactics, techniques and procedures in employment of the weapon.  This unit is supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, a coalition of regional and international nations who have joined together to enable Iraqi forces to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
US Marines get hands on with new mortar system
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Parra, a fires direction center coordinator with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, performs gun drills during a live-fire training mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015. The training allowed the Marines to become familiar with the M252A2 81mm mortar system as they honed their tactics, techniques and procedures in employment of the weapon. This unit is supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, a coalition of regional and international nations who have joined together to enable Iraqi forces to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, fire a M252A2 81 mm mortar system during a live-fire training mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015. The training allowed the Marines to maintain proficiency while also expanding their knowledge on the new weapons system.  These Marines are supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, which has 65 coalition partners who are committed to the goals of eliminating the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
US Marines get hands on with new mortar system
U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, fire a M252A2 81 mm mortar system during a live-fire training mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, 2015. The training allowed the Marines to maintain proficiency while also expanding their knowledge on the new weapons system. These Marines are supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, which has 65 coalition partners who are committed to the goals of eliminating the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- U.S. Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command, train on a new weapons system at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 24, and reinforce ability to provide protection to coalition partners and resources.

The Marines are charged with the security of Al Asad, a site used by coalition members to train Iraqi Security Forces as part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s building partner capacity mission.

“We were just issued the new M252A2 Lightweight 81 mm mortar system and before we employed it in combat, we decided to get the Marines out here [Al Asad range] and get some live fires training with the system,” said U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Alex Sherrod, the executive officer with Weapons Company.

During the training, Marines familiarized themselves firsthand on the functions of the system they could possibly employ in the battle space as a protection measure. The primary benefit of the training is it allowed the Marines the opportunity to hone their tactics, techniques and procedures in employment of the weapons system, further reinforcing their ability to provide protection to their coalition and Iraqi partners.

The new system is overall 10 pounds lighter than the previous mortar system and has heat reducing technology to keep the weapons system cooler than its predecessor.

The Marines fired a total of 87 rounds during the familiarization training to ensure every mortar team received ample time with the new system.

“It’s a pretty cool opportunity to come out here and train,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Destry Stemme, a squad leader with Weapons Company. “It has definitely been a learning experience for me and the other Marines, and this additional training allows us to be more effective on the battlefield.”

CJTF-OIR is a coalition of regional and international nations who have joined together to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region and the wider international community.

1st Battalion 5th MEB 7th Marine Regiment Al Asad Air Base I MEF Iraq mortars Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command