News: Marines prepare to use new defense system in Afghanistan
Story by Cpl. Bruno Bego
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Fifty Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group learned how to use the Gunslinger Package for Advanced Convoy Security system during a two-week course here, Aug. 6-17.
The GPACS system provides easy communication between machine gunners, better weapon control and can be mounted on a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement.
“This system was primarily design to provide protection for convoys [in Afghanistan],” explained Jacob Ackerman, the lead technician for the GPACS system training facility here. “This system puts the [machine gunners] inside the cabin of the truck.”
It is equipped with night vision and thermal capabilities, and is designed to carry the M249 light machine gun, M240 medium machine gun, or Mark II .50 caliber machine gun.
Pfc. Michael D. Testa, a motor vehicle operator who participated in the course, said the system is very similar to playing a video game.
“It is very accurate and very user-friendly,” Testa said. “It is great that it can provide a better way to look at the surroundings while passing all the information to other gunners in the convoy through a live chat.”
Sgt. Emerson C. Mason, a motor vehicle operator and a veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, said that he is very glad the Marine Corps is investing in this type of technology.
“This is great,” Mason expressed. “I can’t wait to use it when I go to Afghanistan. This is going to save lives and help us get from point A to point B effectively without risking the lives of Marines.”
The troops with CLR-2, which recently stood up as the MLG’s forward unit, are slated to deploy in the next few months to Afghanistan in support of International Security Assistance Force operations.