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Marines execute a fire mission while utilizing a M777 howitzer during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb, 1, 2017. Through repetitions of firing the Marines improved their combat readiness, aiding the 2nd Marine Division and maximizing its effectiveness on the battlefield. The Marines are artillerymen assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Battery. (Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Shannon Kroening)

Photo by Cpl. Shannon Kroening

Train for effect

3 Feb 2017 | 12th Marine Regiment

Camp Lejeune, N.C.- The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Battery conducted a training exercise while utilizing M777 howitzers to maximize their combat readiness at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1st, 2017.

The M777 howitzer is a 155mm weapon system used by the Marine Corps to support infantry units from up to 15 and a half miles away.

“We train the way we do to not only improve upon ourselves as artillery Marines, but also to support all of the 2nd Marine Division and the missions we carry out.” said Cpl. Benjamin Stultz, a section chief for Echo Battery, gun one. “I truly believe that they key to bettering yourself is through hard work and repetition. We were assigned to these guns and when the call comes my Marines and I will be ready.”

The Marines loaded rounds repeatedly throughout the day and sent them down range at various targets. Forward observers analyzed the impact zone of the rounds and relayed the information back to the Marines to make corrections where necessary to confirm accuracy.

Stultz stated that the Marines on each gun are like a family, putting trust in one-another to the point that firing that weapon is one fluid motion, a well-oiled machine that does what it’s intended to what given a fire mission.

The skills learned by the Marines in the training environment will be utilized abroad for overall mission success.

“We’re here to instill the Corps values into the Marines, while learning their job,” said 2nd Lt. John T. Smith, a platoon commander with Echo Battery. “We train the Marines the way we do to make sure they remember why they earned the title U.S. Marine.”

The Marines train to not only improve upon themselves but also to bring the intensity and fire power of an artillery battery to the 2nd Marine Division.

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