PDA

View Full Version : Marines are gunning for goliath



thedrifter
04-30-04, 06:22 AM
Marines are gunning for goliath
Submitted by: MCB Camp Pendleton
Story Identification Number: 200442914849
Story by Cpl. Robert M. Storm



MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(April 29, 2004) -- Tanks are some of the most awesome and terrifying vehicles on the modern-day battlefield, and to actively hunt them down with light infantry weapons takes a special type of Marine or at least Marines who are mad.

Riding around in humvees, Marines from Combined Anti-Armor Team Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, use special tactics to hunt down the "behemoths of the battlefield."

In essence, they use slingshots to distract the tank's occupants so their cohorts can level a lethal blow with high-powered, deadly accurate missiles.

"We mount M2 .50-caliber machine guns and MK-19 grenade launcher's on humvees to increase speed and mobility. We then open fire on tanks to 'button them up,'" said Sgt. John E. Wells, a platoon sergeant and a native of Bowling Green, Ky.

"Buttoning up, refers to the fact that small-arms fire will force the tank crew to duck inside their vehicle and close the hatches," he said.

"This reduces the visibility around the tank significantly, making it more vulnerable."

Modern tanks are not vulnerable to machine-gun fire, but they are vulnerable to other weapons that CAAT Platoon mounts on its humvees.

Specifically, the Tube- launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) missile system.

The TOW's line-of-sight, wire-guided feature means it's highly likely to hit its mark.

That's because the shooter can actually guide the missile to its target.

"While the machine guns keep the tanks busy, the TOW gunners fire their missiles, and since the missile can penetrate in excess of 40 inches of steel, it will destroy any vehicle currently fielded," Wells said.

The Marines are enthusiastic about the training they receive and hope to put it to use soon in Iraq.

"We get a lot of good training. It's really cool to shoot the machine guns. And with all the training we're receiving, I feel confident about going to Iraq," said Pfc. Jesse A. Reeder, a gunner and native of Bloomfield, Mo.

E-mail Cpl. Storm at stormrm@pendleton.usmc.mil.


http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/200442914152/$file/LeadTowlow.jpg

Lance Cpl. Bryan S. Cunningham, gunner for Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, loads a Tuble-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missile in training here April 21. The 19-year-old Jurupa Valley High School graduate from Riverside conducts "immediate action" drills for "(enemy) contact left" in a convoy. TOW missiles can penetrate steel in excess of 40 inches thick. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Samuel Palmer


http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2004429152838/$file/ammolow.jpg

Lance Cpl. Lues A. Cervantes, 22, of Los Angeles, a gunner from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, counts rounds in preparation for loading their machine guns. Photo by: Cpl. Robert M. Storm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Three humvees from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment are conducting "immediate action" drills for "(enemy) contact left." Each humvee has different weapons, including a .50-caliber machine gun, an MK-19 automatic grenade launcher and a TOW missile system attached atop the vehicles. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Samuel Palmer

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lance Cpl. Baccillio E. Santellana, a gunner from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, fires an M2 .50-caliber machine gun, which has a range of up to 7,400 meters. The Marines 'button up the armor' with small-arms fire, then hit the armored vehicle with a Tube- launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missile. With their high mobility and long range, Combined Anti-Armor Teams make effective tank killers. Photo by: Cpl. Robert M. Storm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/main5/832281EC2E7FEA6C85256E850063AF25?opendocument


Ellie