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Mortarman drop steel on Camp Pendleton Ranges

27 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Jeremy Fasci 1st Marine Division


Marines from Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, made mortars rain down on the range here Mar. 26 and 27.

Going to the range can help Marines build confidence with the weapons systems to be used on their next deployment.

“This type of training allows the section leaders to be independent, which is key when one section is tasked with a different mission than the other,” said 2nd Lt. Matthew J. Hayes, 34, 81mm mortar platoon commander, Weapons Co., from Dalesburg, Ill.

Using their skills to protect other Marines is their mission when being deployed with their battalion.

“Using indirect fire allows us to give cover to other Marines for movement and support when they run into any problem,” said Pfc. Bryan E. Geddert, 19, an assistant gunner with Weapons Co. from Alpena, Mich.

During the training, Marines are also placed in tense situations to help them prepare for combat stress.

“It gets you more comfortable with your squad,” said Geddert. “(The command elements) build our confidence by putting us through stressful situations to see how we react. This confidence will help during combat operations.”

Sharpening skills needed in a combat zone is one of the goals of training done within the 1st Marine Division, and Weapons Co. trained hard to maintain their preparedness.

1st Marine Division