MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Light Armored Vehicle Platoon, Company B, Ground
Combat Element Integrated Task Force, sent rounds downrange during a live-fire
at Range SR-10 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 26,
Marines worked in crews of three,
utilizing their M242 Bushmaster 25mm chain guns, and M240B machine guns, one
mounted co-axially and one pintle-mounted, to conduct the
offensive and defensive engagements of table four of the LAV-25 gunnery manual.
“We are downrange engaging different
targets,” said Lance Cpl. Paula A. Valerio, LAV crewman, LAV Plt., Co. B,
GCEITF. “All (the) while better learning how to drive, how to shoot and how to
LAV crews rolled up to different
berms on the range and fired armor-piercing discarding sabot rounds and high-explosive incendiary rounds on their
targets. As LAVs maneuvered back down the path they came,
Marines continued their course of fire, simulating a retrograde.
“This is some of the best training I
have ever had,” said Cpl. Thomas E. Debatt, vehicle commander, LAV Plt., Co. B,
GCEITF. “Everyone was on target, getting their drills down and moving fast.”
Crew members have been rapidly
changing roles to get experience in each of the realms of responsibility, to
include gunner and driver. The platoon will be evaluated on their capabilities
as an integrated LAV crew next month at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Twentynine Palms, Calif.
“We have been preparing for our West
Coast evaluation,” Debatt said. “I think it is going to go well and everyone
here is going to be outstanding. I volunteered because it is going to be the
next big thing in the Marine Corps. I want to be a part of history, and this
right here is history.”
Following the successful training
exercises of the Tank Platoon and Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, the
Marines with LAV Platoon exhibited the same confidence.
“As a female in the Marine Corps, I
wanted to make a difference and show that we can all come together and work as
one,” Valerio said. “We are more than ready, and we are excited to (go to
Twentynine Palms) and finish our mission.”
October 2014 to July 2015, the GCEITF will conduct individual and collective
level skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties
in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical
performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific
ground combat arms tasks.