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Aiming for excellence: 2nd AA Bn Motor T shoots Gunnery Table Five Range

By Cpl. Ashley Lawson | II Marine Expeditionary Force | September 11, 2017

Marines with Motor Transport platoon, 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion, qualified with .50 caliber machine guns mounted on AMK-23 7-ton vehicles as part of gunnery table 5 at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 7-9.

The Marines cross-trained on the vehicles they routinely service to familiarize them and provide the ability to fill in for a fallen Marine if they should ever need it.

“Due to day to day operations working on the amphibious assault vehicles, we are not able to always train on the weapon systems mounted on them,” said 1st Lt. Frederick Schmitt, Motor Transport platoon commander with the unit. “This allows us to broaden and sharpen our skills as Marines.”

The range delivered the opportunity to learn improve the Marines’ skills on conduct basic convoy operations, basic gunnery skills and how to operate in a field setting.

“We have multiple targets down range in many spots for us to aim at so we’re not just pointing and shooting,” said Cpl. Fernando Estima, motor transport safety non-commissioned officer with the unit. “We’re essentially learning from the ground up, so going through each step in depth is very helpful.”

Although the Marines are motor transport operators, they are still required to have the knowledge and ability to disassemble and assemble weapons, use the weapon properly and adhere to weapon safety rules.

“This allows us to get into a combat mindset and understand that our role as motor t operators is more than just driving vehicles,” said Schmitt. “We watch out for every person, so we need the skills to pull through with it.”

The Marines went through pre-qualification and qualification cycles to expand their knowledge with the weapon, build unit cohesion and bolster combat readiness.