News: Lock and load: logistics Marines train with machine guns
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -Marines with 2nd Marine Logistics Group traded two weeks of their regular schedule for training to help them better protect their fellow service members in a deployed environment here.
The machine gunner course at the Battle Skills Training School taught the service members everything they needed to know about the M240B medium machine gun, MK19 grenade launcher and M2 Browning .50-caliber machine gun, and culminated in a live-fire exercise Oct. 4.
“The materials we teach allow non-infantry Marines to deploy overseas, able to effectively employ these weapon systems as situations present themselves,” said Sgt. Jeffery J. Gause, a machine gunner with BSTS. “[Service members] come to our course, we teach them and they’ll be able to go back to their shops and teach their peers what they’ve learned.”
The course was not meant to train the Marines to become instructors, but it did give them the knowledge to help their units maintain mission readiness for future deployments.
“Not a lot of Marines [in 2nd MLG] get to experience what we experienced,” said Pfc. Shavon C. Smith, an ammunition technician with 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd MLG. “Even though we’re not grunts we get to have a taste of that life. We won’t be fumbling with the weapons on a deployment – we’re more experienced now.”
The course provided the Marines with hours of classroom instruction and practical, hands-on training with the weapons, including timed disassembly and reassembly and a written test on each weapon’s characteristics.
This was the first class to run the endurance course, a 3.4-mile trail with obstacles, over which the Marines had to move the weapon systems.
The final portion of the training was a live-fire exercise with M240Bs and M2s, and tested not only the students’ abilities to set up the weapons, but [their ability] to hit their targets, as well.
“It’s a good course,” said Cpl. Sean M. Stecher, a heavy equipment mechanic with 2nd Maint. Bn., CLR-25. “A lot of Marines joined wanting to shoot guns, and [the course] allowed us to do that, but we also learned a lot about the weapons.”