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    1st Marine Division Enhances Lethality and Versatility with Innovative Infantry Training

    Marines fire MAAWS downrange

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Juan Torres | U.S. Marines with 1st Marine Division fire the M3E1 multipurpose anti-armor...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Joseph DiPietro 

    1st Marine Division

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – 1st Marine Division units conducted a series of training events in recent weeks to increase small unit lethality and versatility, with an emphasis on innovative weapon systems, warfighting concepts, and training programs.

    U.S. Marines and Sailors from the division took part in a week-long M3E1 Multipurpose Anti-armor Anti-personnel Weapon System program, as well as a multi-day Designated Marksman range. Both training events provided experience and familiarity with weapon systems and tactics necessary to compete in hostile, fluid, and challenging environments.

    “The 1st Marine Division exists to fight and win our Nation’s battles,” emphasized U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Benjamin Watson, 1st MARDIV commanding general, in his "Commanding General’s Intent." “We must be brilliant in the basics of combined arms warfighting; techniques that have long made us feared by our enemies.”

    Watson took command of the 20,000 Marines and Sailors of the Blue Diamond last summer. He immediately emphasized the division’s ability to provide the most lethal and ready forces capable to compete in any environment, at any time. Division units consistently train with the most modern weapons, tactics, and techniques.

    Marines and Sailors with the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st MARDIV took part in a week-long MAAWS training event, first learning about the capabilities of the weapon system, and then taking their instruction to the field to test and examine its destructive strength. The MAAWS, also known as the Carl Gustaf, provides infantry squads the ability to neutralize and even destroy enemy armor and light armor assets at greater distances compared to the MK153 Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon, M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon, and M136 AT4 anti-tank weapon. The MAAWS also allows combat engineer units to breach obstacles and establish footholds in challenging objectives.

    “The MAAWs recoilless rifle and family of ammo provide the service a capability that makes efficient what multiple weapon systems currently do. The ability to obscure objectives, fire [high-explosive/high explosive anti-tank], illumination, and smoke missions, at ranges further than an organic rifle platoon can do currently with multiple systems is a capability enhancement,” explained 1st MARDIV's lead weapons and tactics expert, U.S. Marine Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ray Browne, division gunner. “For Designated Marksmen, DM training will ensure the capability gap in the squad is more effectively filled to employ these enhanced marksmanship skills with precision weapon systems that IBX30 allocates to the squad.”

    Marines and Sailors with the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st MARDIV spent multiple days out in the desert of Twentynine Palms learning and developing long-range precision rifle techniques and procedures. The Designated Marksman program allows sharp-shooting Marines to perform precision fire tasks in support of ground combat maneuver. The Designated Marksman training focused on the M110 and the MK13 rifles, capable of precision engagements of around 800 and 1200 meters, respectively.

    "2/7 will move the long guns to the rifle company ‘arms-room’ and train [infantry Marines] to employ the precision weapon systems,” added U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tyler Maisey, battalion gunner for 2/7. “Marines assigned as Designated Marksmen have learned the necessary skills, demonstrated confidence and sustained proficiency in the M110 and MK13 in order to provide precision fires in support of rifle company operations.”

    MAAWS and Designated Marksman training are just two focus areas of the Infantry Battalion Experimentation 2030, or IBX30. One aspect of IBX30 is allowing infantry battalions, the bulk of 1st MARDIV
    units, to remain versatile in their capabilities through an "arms-room" concept. The idea allows infantry Marines to be well-trained with multiple weapon systems, instead of limiting them to one or two weapon systems at a time. Additional, ongoing training includes scout platoon integration, which will provide infantry battalions organic reconnaissance capabilities for distributed operations. The redundancy and versatility of critical infantry capabilities reinforce the highest levels of battlefield effectiveness and allow 1st MARDIV to provide any force or operation with significant lethality and the ability to win in any clime or place.



    Date Taken: 03.21.2023
    Date Posted: 03.21.2023 18:43
    Story ID: 440855
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US 

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