CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with Ammo Company, 1st Supply Battalion conducted a variety of live-fire ranges aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 15-18, 2014. The training was part of an annual exercise held by the ammo technicians to introduce or familiarize them with the weapon systems they support.
The Marines learned to transport, employ, and operate the weapons after receiving classes and hands-on training.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryant Wall, the Field Ammunition Supply Point officer in charge, said the company was broken up into two platoons during the exercise. While one platoon was at the FASP running the logistical side of the exercise, the other was in the training area on the live-fire ranges. The Marines kicked off the week with the M1014 Benelli shotgun and learned how to manipulate the weapon system in a tactical manner. Grenades were later employed along with light and heavy machine guns including the M2 .50-caliber machine gun and Mk19 automatic grenade launcher. The last range required the Marines to carry and fire AT-4 rocket launchers. Classes were held to ensure the Marines understood the abilities and employment of each weapon system.
Sergeant Mary Swanson, a platoon sergeant with Ammo Company, 1st Supply Battalion, said some of the Marines were nervous about some of the larger, more complex ranges like the AT-4 and grenade range because most non-infantry Marines never have the opportunity to fire them.
"We see this kind of ammo every day, but we never really have the opportunity to shoot it," Swanson said.
Once the Marines shouldered the weapons, however, the established training and muscle memory kicked in, leading to impacts on target.
After completing the first week running through the variety of standard weapons, the Marines spent two days in the Infantry Immersion Trainer to test their comprehension and application of basic military operations in urban terrain.
"My Marines gain two things from this training; proficiency in their MOS and their basic combat skills are enhanced," said Wall.
The Marines of Ammo Company will continue to feed I Marine Expeditionary Force the rounds it needs to defeat its foes, and also now have the skills to employ the weapons they support in their day-to-day operations.