View Full Version : Every Marine a machine gunman: 13th MEU combat service support Marines train on crew-

10-12-03, 12:44 PM
Every Marine a machine gunman: 13th MEU combat service support Marines train on crew-served weapons
Submitted by: 13th MEU
Story Identification Number: 2003101014638
Story by SSgt. April D. Tuggle

ABOARD USS GERMANTOWN(October 6, 2003) -- Marines of MEU Service Support Group-13, the combat service support element of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), on the "little deck" brought out the big guns for crew-served weapons sustainment training here Monday.

Gun teams from the MSSG's engineers and military police detachments participated in refresher training on the M240G and M2 .50 caliber machine guns. The period of instruction conducted on the weather decks of the ship included disassembly and assembly drills, immediate action drills, and informal classes on building appropriate fighting positions, setting up interlocking fields of fire and how to properly fill out and use range cards, according to SSgt. Dustin Henderson, detachment chief, MP Det., MSSG-13.

Although every Marine is a rifleman, not every Marine works with crew-served weapons while conducting their primary military occupational specialty. That holds true for the majority of the Marines attached to MSSG-13, which is tasked with providing the bulk of the logistical support for the 13th MEU (SOC) during operations and exercises ashore. The majority of the more than 250 Marines that fill the ranks of the combat service support element hold MOSs such as heavy equipment operator, communications specialist, motor transport maintenance specialist, and water purification specialist, to name a few.

"The training is important because they don't handle crew-served weapons every day," said GySgt. John Berrett, detachment chief, Engineer Det., MSSG-13.

The familiarization is important because in the event of operations ashore, the gun teams are responsible for manning the crew served weapons posts that are a part of the rear area security for the MSSG, according to Berrett.

MSSG Marines rotate the training through the detachments every month or so to ensure gun teams have the opportunity to handle the weapons on a consistent basis, according to Henderson. This is the second time the familiarization training has been conducted since departing San Diego on Western Pacific Deployment 03-2.

MSSG-13 Marines are currently underway in the Arabian Gulf Region with the 13th MEU (SOC). The MEU is the strike force attached to Expeditionary Strike Group One, which departed August 22 from San Diego as the first ESG to be deployed.

For more information about the 13th MEU and the Marines of MSSG-13 visit the MEU website at www.13meu.usmc.mil.


Aboard USS GERMANTOWN - Sgt. Paul Hildreth, Maintenance Detachment, MEU Service Support Group-13, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), and a native of Weed, Calif., assembles a M240G machine gun during crew-served weapons team sustainment training Oct. 6. MSSG-13 Marines participated in the training on the weather decks of the USS Germantown. The refresher training ensures Marines who may be called upon to conduct rear-area security for MSSG-13 ashore maintain their familiarization with the crew-served weapons. The 13th MEU(SOC) is currently deployed on Western-Pacific Deployment 03-2 as the strike force of Expeditionary Strike Group One.
Photo by: SSgt. April D. Tuggle