Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mortarmen launch rounds down range

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Mortarmen new to 2nd Marine Division spent Aug. 18 honing their skills on range MP-5, to get 60 mm mortars on target.

The day of training took place as a way to refine the skills of mortarmen, the majority of whom recently graduated from their military occupational specialty school, by ensuring they have the knowledge to guide 60 mm mortars on target.

The Marines setup their mortars and preformed gunline-procedures, the various steps involved to sight-in and bombard targets. As the Marines launched mortars down range, Marines serving as forward observers radioed in the grid coordinates of the impacts. The mortarmen then used that information to adjust fire and get rounds on target.

"We want to make sure they can get rounds down range as fast as possible to get the mission complete," said Cpl. Anthony Gonzales, a mortarman with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd MarDiv. "They need to be very precise."

The training also served as way to prepare mortarmen from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd MarDiv, for their upcoming deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Battalion is scheduled to attach to the 24th MEU in September and form into its' Battalion Landing Team.

"This is the basics," said 1st Lt. Justin Nabozna, the platoon commander for Weapons Company, 1/2, 2nd MarDiv. "We have to work our way up to MEU operations. If we have proficient 60 mm mortarmen then the Battalion Landing Team's ground combat element will have three mortar sections, that they can task out to each company, to use in the offense, defense and patrolling."

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