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    Marines explore new range training perspective

    Marines explore new range training perspective

    Photo By Sgt. Gloria Lepko | A forward observer navigates an unmanned aerial system to a target during a defilade...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Gloria Lepko 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force

    Infantry Marines had a blast with new perspectives on a defilade range during a multi-system training exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, January 25, 2018.

    After a week in the classroom, Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment practiced employing MK19 machine guns from a concealed position, incorporating the Saber system and unmanned aerial systems as their eyes.

    The UAS uses a camera monitored in real-time by a Marine out of sight to provide a bird’s eye view of the range, while the Saber system works as a long distance telescope.

    “Saber system optics and the UAS give us an advantage by allowing us to zoom in on the targets, see where our rounds are impacting, and adjust the weapon elevation for impact,” said 2nd Lt. Daniel Kult, a platoon commander for 1/6 Combined Anti-Armor Team Two. “Our forward observer can be off the battlefield, flying the UAS over the target to adjust rounds accordingly.”

    By using mathematics based on the elevation of targets, the Marines can raise and lower the weapon’s muzzle to aim over the berm. This tactic allows them to engage the enemy without giving away their position.

    “Using equipment like the drones puts us a step ahead of the enemy because it allows us to keep personnel out of harm’s way,” said Sgt. Dustin McPhearson, a platoon sergeant for 1/6 Combined Anti-Armor platoon. “Employing a machine gun behind a hill or mountain is a capability that the enemy doesn’t have yet.”

    Defilade training teaches the Marines how to combine systems of observation with weapon systems, preparing the typically mounted CAAT platoon to be tasked with an additional infantry mission.

    “Combining the three systems means we have redundancy in our ability to perform. If the UAS isn’t working, we can fall back on the Saber system and vice versa,” said Kult. “However, when you combine them, it’s a more lethal ability. We have the technological advancements to out cycle the enemy’s counteraction.”

    Drone missions are typically tasked for observation on the enemy, but 1/6 plans to change the game. Adjusting fire with the system’s monitoring capabilities gives Marines a unique advantage and a different way of employing their weapon systems.

    “It’s important to keep up with these skills because they are something that you can always build on and continue to learn from,” said McPhearson. “If at any time the Marines are in a combat situation where enemy engagement is likely, and they cannot employ weapons from a mounted position, they can use these tactics and maintain concealment.”

    The training not only improves mission readiness, but also enhances leadership skills among the unit. Senior Marines pass their knowledge down to junior Marines, creating confidence in their weapon systems and training while using them for a unique purpose.



    Date Taken: 01.25.2018
    Date Posted: 02.02.2018 15:23
    Story ID: 263495
    Location: CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US 

    Web Views: 38
    Downloads: 1