News: Marines fire M32 grenade launcher aboard Camp Pendleton
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – As the Marine Corps returns to its amphibious roots, Marines with Engineer Support Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, to train with the M-32 grenade launcher, Feb. 15.
The M32 is a semi-automatic grenade launcher with an optical sight and can fire grenades down range at a higher rate than comparable weapons.
“I like it. It gives me a broad skill set. Instead of just knowing my job and an M16, I get the opportunity to cross-train,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel S. Sherman, a water purification specialist with Engineer Support Co., 7th ESB, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “If I’m in a tactical situation, I can utilize whatever weapons are available.”
Marines first shot dummy rounds that detonated into small bursts of smoke when they impacted. Once the engineers were comfortable with their technique, they began firing High Explosive, Dual Purpose rounds.
“The Marines were pretty excited about (the M32),” said 1st Lt. Nicholas S. Bakewell, executive officer, Engineer Support Co., 7th ESB. “It broke the day to day routine, and it was good training.”
The training built upon the various weapons the Marines already knew, and when they applied the techniques they learned that morning to the M-32, nearly all their shots were on the mark.
“(Every Marine’s) secondary task is a provisional infantryman, so they need to learn about the weapons utilized by an infantry platoon,” said Bakewell.
The Marines understand the critical value of this training. While fun for them, they know it may very well save their lives one day.
“It's good to learn because if we are in a fight and if I’m put in a situation where I need to use (an M32), I will know what to do,” said Sherman, from Marlborough, Mass.