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Marines from Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, fire a 60 mm mortar, setting the base plate in the dirt during a live-fire training exercise at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 7. Enhanced combat skills instructors from Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, gave indirect fire support during the exercise.

Photo by Pfc. Timothy Childers

Marines support mortar men during exercise

7 Sep 2011 | Pfc. Timothy Childers

As rounds violently hit the impact zone; forward observers quickly realized the mortars are landing too short. Readjust, was called over the radio to the mortar men on the gun-line.

Marines with Combat Skills Training, Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, called indirect fire support as forward observers while mortar men with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, sent rounds down range during a training exercise here, Sept. 7.

Forward observers are used to provide target location for indirect fire support, this is important because the mortar men on the gun-line do not have a visual of the impact area. The observers assist by calling in on-the-spot adjustments after the impact of the mortar, said Staff Sgt. Brian P. Holloway, enhanced combat skills chief, HQ Company, CLR-17, 1st MLG.

Along with assisting the Marines from Company K with indirect fire support as forward observers, the enhanced combat skills instructors provided the infantry unit with 60mm high explosive mortars to use during the training exercise, said Holloway.

The enhanced combat skills instructors were aiding in the exercise in order to accumulate  enough training for certification required for joint fires observer school, said Cpl. Alfonso L. Paniagua, enhanced combat skills instructor, HQ Company, CLR-17, 1st MLG.

With the cohesion of both units working together, they were able to benefit from the joint exercise. The instructors were able to gain experience as forward observers and the mortar men were given the opportunity to train.

The Marines participated in the exercise to increase proficiency and to enhance crucial skills as joint fires observers, said Holloway, from St. Joseph, Mich.

After the exercise was completed, Holloway said it went well. The enhanced combat skills instructors were able to learn some valuable lessons to pass to their Marines, thus preparing them for future deployment with 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward).


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