News: Marines Prepare with Speed and Proficiency
Story by Spc. Elizabeth Gorenc
By Spc. Elizabeth Gorenc
Camp Atterbury Public Affairs
CAMP ATTERURY, Ind. – Explosions erupted as mortar rounds sped through the air to their designated target site.
Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's battalion landing team, Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, continued to improve their proficiency, June 17, while firing 81-mm mortar rounds during a training exercise.
The exercise provided Marines a chance to practice suppressive fire missions while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center for deployment to Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Tom Fulley said that the battle landing team conducted this training to make sure that they could "meet and exceed the standard so [they] are prepared when [they] go to Afghanistan."
A full team effort was contributed to the training mission. The forward observer began the process by calling the mission to the fire direction center. The FDC plotted the received data and relayed the information, via radio, to the individual squad leaders on the firing point.
The squads then set five M252 81-mm mortar systems to aim at the target area based on the information passed down from the squad leaders. Once properly aimed, Marines handed off ammunition and fired the system.
"Today's training tested gunner speed and accuracy," he said. "Everybody was able to successfully complete the mission."
Lance Cpl. Edward Welsh said that the timed mortar exercises were a good training scenario and test for speed since there would be a great sense of urgency and lack of time to respond overseas in similar situations.
"We have had a lot of extremely realistic and in-depth training," said Pfc. Michael Colmey. "It has made me feel ready and excited to go on my first deployment."
The training prepared Marines deploying for the first time and Marines with prior overseas experience.
"I've been deployed six times so far," said Fulley. "I feel the most comfortable going on this upcoming deployment because of the group that I am deploying with. Everyone has been highly motivated and proficient."
Fully said that the training scenarios between Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, including the mortar firing, has shown him a great sense of the battalion landing team's ability to work together under pressure and quickly and successfully complete missions.