CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — The Marines of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, hit the ranges of Camp Hansen on Wednesday for their first live-fire exercise since arriving on island from Camp Pendleton, Calif., two weeks ago.
The Marines, with the battalion’s Weapons Platoon, Company A, haven’t had a chance to fire their 60 mm lightweight mortars for about three months, so the exercise was mainly to re-familiarize everyone with the mortars, said 1st Lt. Tyler Holt, the company’s executive officer.
About 20 Marines fired off high explosive rounds from two of the mortars using a direct-lay technique: Mortars are placed in the ground and mortar gunners see where their rounds impact and adjust accordingly, Holt said.
“This was a great refresher,” said Lance Cpl. Robert Hernandez, 22, from Boise, Idaho. “The small range means you have to be right on target.”
Holt said weapons platoon Marines also fired medium machine guns and planned next week to fire a third item in their arsenal, the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon.
The battalion, here until January as part of a unit deployment program, is attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of its Battalion Landing Team.