Supply Marines get familiar with grenade launcher
CAMP HANSEN - From out of the rack to waiting at the armory, Marines awoke with every intention of firing on the range.
As they stepped off the 7-ton trucks and into the humidity at range 9 at Camp Hansen, it was clear that was no longer going to happen.
"We had every intention of having the Marines fire the MK19 40 mm grenade launcher today, but with the lack of sufficient rainfall within the last 48 hours, we ran the risk of causing a fire," said 1st Lt. Elizabeth Trujillo, the Supply Company executive officer with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. "Instead of loading everyone back on the buses and going home, we took full opportunity of the circumstances."
Marines with 3rd Supply Battalion, CLR-35, 3rd MLG, III MEF, adapted and overcame to continue training with the MK19, learning about the capabilities and purpose of the weapon system, weapon conditions, immediate action drills for malfunctions, and how to properly load, unload and clear the weapon system.
"Live-fire or not, it was still important for us to get experience with this weapon system for the future," said Lance Cpl. Miguel A. Barbosasalas, an ammunition technician with the battalion. "At the end of the day, we are all still Marines, and you never know what situation you are going to be in."
Prior to the training, explosive ordnance disposal Marines provided instruction on how to identify unexploded ordnance, counter improvised explosive device techniques, and how to set up a cordon and search after an IED is identified.
"The goal of the IED training was to expose and educate Marines on the capabilities of EOD and prepare them for any future deployments and encounters with IEDs," said Trujillo. "The more knowledge Marines have of the capabilities of the Marine Corps outside of their military occupational specialty, the more prepared I think they will be in an unfamiliar environment."
During weapons training, the Marines split into teams of three to conduct assembly and disassembly drill competitions to test the knowledge they had learned throughout the day.
"Weapons training is vital to ammunition technician Marines," said Cpl. Kayla I. Rogers, an ammunition technician with the battalion who previously deployed to Afghanistan. "When you're deployed, you never know where you're going to be or what you're going to be doing, so the extra training we get is vital."
While the Marines took full advantage to train despite the missed opportunity to fire, a date was rescheduled for the full live-fire experience of the MK19.