CLB-22 Marines become proficient in machine gun capabilities

CLB-22 Marines become proficient in machine gun capabilities

LCpl Scott Rosier, a radio technician with Combat Logistics Battalion 22, watches on as Pfc. Sean Wager finishes his round of fire before making changes to the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 7, 2015. The range is part of a series of pre-deployment training for CLB-22. Marine Corps photo by Pfc Miranda Faughn.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (August 7, 2015) - Sitting behind M2 .50-caliber machine guns in the pouring rain with gas masks on, Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 22 took part in live-fire training at SR-8 aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 7, 2015.

CLB-22 is conducting a series of pre-deployment exercises to prepare them for their upcoming deployment, which begins with attaching to a Marine Expeditionary Unit in December 2015.

They began their field operation training Aug. 2. 

"We were firing the M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun as part of a two-day training evolution; yesterday it was the M240G medium machine gun," said 1Lt Landon Gant, the assistant operations officer. "This was part of a bigger training evolution that the battalion is currently doing. The .50-caliber is a heavy machine gun the battalion uses to secure convoys, resupplies and provide rear air security." 

Cpl Matthew Miller, a Marine from the battalion, believes that having the skills to operate both weapons is a good tool to have because if Marines are called upon to use the weapon systems, they will know how to properly aim and correctly operate them.

"It's beneficial for everyone, whether they are a junior Marine or not, because anyone might have to take over a .50-caliber in country or on a regular MEU like we are. Supporting the MEU, you might have to take that position if it needs to be filled," said Miller.

This is a weapon that not many junior Marines get the chance to shoot prior to pre-deployment training, said Gant. Being able to partake in live-fire ranges helps give the Marines who have never shot larger weapons, such as the .50-caliber or the M240G, the basics for learning how to use those weapons.

"The overall training evolution is part of just one of the pieces as we begin our initial phase, which is just focusing on individual and collective skills throughout the battalion," said Gant.

Working on collective skill also requires making sure the battalion can work together. Gant and Miller agree that sticking together, whether it is due to the rain or other shared hardships, makes CLB-22 a more cohesive unit. 

"We're all in this together, so when it rains, we're all going through it together. The best we can do is laugh about it, joke about it, and especially have fun when we're out there on the range shooting," said Miller.

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