News: Practice makes perfect for 2nd LAR’s Delta Company
Story by Lance Cpl. Austin Long
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Company D, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, went to the SR-7 range for a live fire exercise, December 10-13. The live-fire exercise is known as a maintenance shoot among the crews, because it allows them to see what they can fix with the different crews, guns, vehicles and movements from one contact point to another.
The three-day shoot is mainly to help crews of Delta Company prepare for their crew qualification in February located at the SR-7 range.
“I think the training holds a significant purpose for our crews. It’s basically their only chance to do live fire before gunnery (qualification), in February. It allows the crews to get a feel for how each individual operates, which is important because we recently changed personnel in the crews,” said Midland, Mich. Native, Capt. Johnathan D. Reed, Delta Company Commander. “This also allows our crews to identify potential problems with the vehicles and their weapon systems.”
“Although this training is mainly to make sure we fix all of the problems before February, but we also want to get the Marines who came straight from the schoolhouse, some experience on shooting and moving, because at the schoolhouse they don’t have the opportunity to get that experience,” said Sgt. William Southwell, a master gunner with Delta Company.
Southwell, a native of Katy, Texas, said on a crew there are about eight Marines when including the scouts, but only three Marines are scored during gunnery.
To qualify, crews shoot one day, consisting of at least seven daylight shoots, two night shoots, with one of the shoots conducted while wearing gas masks.
During the qualification each crew member is graded on their specific tasks. The driver is graded on his driving, maneuvers, and ability to follow commands. The gunner operates the 25mm main gun and is graded on his accuracy on vehicle targets, and how well he can destroy them. The vehicle commander is graded on his ability to locate the vehicle targets, his ability to give proper commands and his accuracy with the M240 machine gun on ground targets. The vehicle commander also fires the 25mm main gun at least once at vehicle targets.
Targets on the range include various vehicle targets, moving targets, and troop targets, at a maximum distance of 1,600 meters.
“It is nerve racking at times, to be honest,” said South Lake, Texas native, Lance Cpl Tyler Johnston, an LAV driver with Delta Company. “You don’t want to let your crew down, but you know your job and you learn the billets above you like you’re supposed to and you’re able to gain some really good training.”