Photo Information

Marines with 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, look over a map of the surrounding area during Operation Firestorm, and exercise to prepare the unit for their upcoming exercise, Rolling Thunder, at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 15, 2015. The operation is a week-long field operation and is designed to ensure that communication and logistics capabilities are up to par before pushing out to Fort Bragg for Rolling Thunder.

Photo by Cpl. Krista James

10th Marines prepare for Rolling Thunder with Operation Firestorm

21 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Krista James The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines and sailors with 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division conducted a field exercise called Operation Firestorm in order to prepare for their upcoming exercise, Rolling Thunder, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sep. 14-18, 2015.


“The main focus for Operation Firestorm is to get the regiment out into the field and knock the dirt off the gear, get all of the communications checks and operations checks and make sure that we’re ready for Rolling Thunder coming up next month,” said Master Sgt. Justin Mingie, logistics chief for 10th Marines.

The regiment set up their campground in a similar layout for Rolling Thunder in order to see how communications will be set up and functioning for the exercise. Rolling Thunder, one of the regiment’s largest exercises, is an exercise to integrate every capability of an artillery regiment, such as the logistics side and the firing side, in a different environment.

“This is pretty much like an actor before they do a show, they do a dry run or a dress rehearsal. This is kind of our dry run or dress rehearsal,” said Lance Cpl. Gabriel Morris, an intelligence specialist with 1st Bn., 10th Marines. “We’re making sure everything works the way it’s supposed to so when we get out there and we need to perform and complete the mission that we’re supposed to, we won’t have any hiccups or anything that we’re not prepared for.” 

Ensuring that the ‘dress rehearsal’ went well, the regiment conducted multiple radio checks and calls-for-fire, along with mapping out different targets and calling them in to the fire direction center.

Morris said that this exercise ensures that each artillery battery is ready to push out whenever they need to and that the supporting units are able to do their jobs when the regiment gets to Fort Bragg for Rolling Thunder.

Likewise, Mingie said that this is a vital operation to prepare for the exercise and that Marines are always striving to be more proficient so by training now, next month’s exercise will be better executed.

“Ultimately this prepares us for Rolling Thunder, first off, by getting the Marines in that mental mindset that…we are a ground combat element and we don’t always get the chance to go out in the field and do operations like this,” Mingie said. “By doing things like this it gets them out of their normal day-to-day routine and gets them ready for potentially what may come in the future. “