MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with 2nd Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company look to the future as they break out the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine guns during a live-fire range at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 27, 2015.
Marines with the unit sent approximately 7,000 rounds towards fixed targets as they conducted the training.
Sgt. Alex Duval, a team radio chief with the unit, said the exercise gave his Marines a chance to get behind the weapon system and put rounds down range.
The training was conducted as part of a week-long exercise where Marines refreshed some of the skills many haven’t used since basic training.
“We got a little wet today but the training went well,” said Duval. “It is beneficial for the Marines to get some trigger time behind these weapons systems in a relaxed environment.” Duval added that the Marines are learning ‘talking guns’ as part of the exercise.
Talking guns is a firing method used by the Marine Corps to have a sustained rate of fire by firing at the suppressive rate (6-8 second burst) and alternating between two .50 caliber heavy machine guns.
The mission statement of 2nd Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company reads. “…to provide Marine Air Ground Task Force commanders a liaison capability with the foreign area expertise to plan, coordinate, employ and conduct terminal control of fires in support of joint, allied and coalition forces.”
Gunnery Sgt. Bradley Eaves, the operations chief for the unit, was aiding the Marines while conducting the exercise. “We are doing a crew-serve shoot to increase proficiency,” said Eaves. “So when teams deploy down range they will be able to utilize the weapon system.”
Eaves and the Marines participating in the exercise conducted live fire shoots throughout the week-long exercise as part of their mission for unit readiness.
“It comes in two fold and makes that close team knit unity. If you have a team that goes on a deployment they’ll attach to coalition or foreign units and operate independently outside a traditional infantry unit or artillery unit,” said Eaves. “Every time I get out of the office and train and see the Marines training it is a good thing.”
“This training is to familiarize our junior Marines with the weapon system,” said Duval. The sergeant also added that the training would boost the Marines confidence with the weapon system.
During the exercise the Marines were given the opportunity to fire from both the tripod and the turret positions.
While the Marines were firing it gave them a chance to break free from the mundane day-to-day work.
“It’s something we don’t get to do a lot of the time,” said Eaves. “So we get out here train them and just build a better well rounded Marine outside of his normal job duties.”
Being self-sustained, building team camaraderie and team experience are some of the key factors Eaves said he would like his Marines to take away from this training.