News: Marines field test safer turret system
Story by Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels
FORT PICKETT, Va. - Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fired a new cupola turret system for their M88A2 heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system at Fort Pickett, Va., Sept. 15, 2012.
The HERCULES fired at mechanical targets alongside a separate familiarization training exercise CLB-26 was also conducting.
“That cupola is actually the same cupola they have on the turret of a tank.” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Griffith, CLB-26 ordnance maintenance chief. “They put that on because you had to man handle our old one. This one is under power and it’s got a three, six, and 50-powered thermal sight on it. It is mounted and you fire it from the inside.”
Safety is always paramount in anything the Marine Corps does, especially in a life-threatening situation like combat.
“Everything is electronic so you can safely fire from the inside,” he said. “ You have a trigger inside which hits the butterfly sending rounds downrange.”
Along with safety, the remote controlled turret has other features giving Marines a tactical edge.
“This system gives us more accuracy,” said Griffith. “It’s on a very firm platform and obviously having those sites allows you to see further downrange and better identify your targets.”