Marines, Soldiers test rockets of destruction

28 Jul 2000 | Lance Cpl. Allan Grdovich

In what is hoped to be a positive step forward, the Marine Corps tested the new High Mobility Artillery Rocket System at Landing Zone Falcon here July 28.

Marines from 3rd Platoon, Charlie Battery, 10th Marine Regiment and Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery and 18th Airborne Corps, Field Artillery out of Fort Bragg, N.C. provided a joint service effort to display the HMARS in front of various Army and Marine dignitaries.

The Marine Corps is still in the test phase as far as using the HMARS but hopes to activate the high-tech artillery into mainstream use in the near future.

"This system can be an important asset to the Marine Corps. Currently, we do not have any artillery weapons which can provide us the speed and mobility that the HMARS has," said Maj. Micheal Blackwood, assistant fire support coordinator for 2d Marine Division.

Recently, Army artillery units began using the state of the art HMARS, which provides rocket and missile mobility up to 45 kilometers and can be easily transported on Navy and Air Force aircraft.

When in production, the six-barrel rocket/missile system will have an estimated cost of $2.2 million, according to HMARS Product Manager Army Lt. Col. Max Carroll, from Red Stone Arsenal, Ala.

"We are pursuing the mainstream usage of the HMARS because we do not have any artillery system organic to the Marine Corps. It's use should give us a little boost when comes to taking out the enemy," said Blackwood.

Marine artillery units currently use the M-198 howitzer which is heavier and has a smaller range of fire.