Saturday, November 29, 2008

CLB-3 puts rounds on target in Afghanistan

Story by: Lance Cpl. Ronald W. Stauffer

TARNAK FARM RANGE, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 3 conducted suppressive fire drills and maneuvers with crew-served weapons at Tarnak Farm Range, Afghanistan, Nov. 25.

The mission essential training is important in ensuring CLB-3 meets its requirements in support of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Afghanistan’s mission of conducting counterinsurgency operations, and training and mentoring the Afghan National Police.

The Marines familiarized themselves with vehicle-mounted weapon systems, such as the MK-19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, M2 .50 caliber heavy machinegun and the M240B 7.62 mm medium machinegun, according to Gunnery Sgt. Isaac T. Hart, a sweep team leader with Motor Transportation Company, CLB-3.
The training focused on a method referred to as “talking guns,” a technique used to maintain a constant stream of fire against enemy forces. In addition, the Marines learned about fire discipline and economy of ammunition.

“[The training] also heightens their awareness and (initiates) accurate suppressive fire,” Hart said.

Hart also said the talking guns method keeps constant fire directed at the enemy, and it teaches Marines to conserve their ammunition.

During the training, the Marines fired their weapons from their vehicles and finished with a training scenario in which they delivered volumes of deadly accurate fire at simulated targets from ranges of several hundred meters.

According to Cpl. Troy Hoggard, a sweep team member with Motor-T Co., the training gave the unit’s less experienced Marines an opportunity to further sharpen their skills to accomplish their mission effectively.

He said sitting behind the .50 cal. heavy machinegun and firing rounds that hit and devastate their target within milliseconds was an exciting experience.

“Let alone the fact that these weapons can go through walls or make new holes in them, the strength and power of the .50 cal. and MK-19 are essential because they simply scare (the pants off) of people,” Hoggard said.

Overall, the training proved to be invaluable for the Marines.

“It makes me feel confident with the Marines and their abilities to destroy an enemy threat,” Hart said. “Marksmanship is my main concern, and I know the Marines walked away, feeling better educated.”
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