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02-12-09, 08:18 AM
Marines train with Expeditionary Fire Support System
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February 11, 2009 - 7:16 PM

Some local Marines were first to try out a new towed mortar system that can be driven onto a V-22 Osprey and transported more quickly and easily than other similar weapons.

Marines with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, have been training with the new Expeditionary Fire Support System for a few weeks. Wednesday, they practiced firing the 120-mm mortar, as well as loading and unloading the system from Ospreys.

The system includes a new type of 120-mm mortar and its launcher, vehicles and an ammunition trailer. The Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) tows the mortar system and ammunition, while the Light Strike Vehicle has seats for four people. Both are light and small enough to fit inside a V-22 Osprey.

Maj. Douglas Dudgeon, a Marine with the program office in Quantico, Va., said there are several advantages to the new type of mortar. It can fly farther, can be fired over the heads of troops and has a larger casualty radius in relation to its size than other mortars, he said.

Cpl. James Boyle said the new system is easier to go into the field with because it fits on the Osprey, and can also move faster and shoot more rounds than weapons of similar firepower that must be towed by a seven-ton truck.

"It'll give us better advantages, let us get a lot closer," Boyle said.

The entire system can be loaded into the Osprey in about 10 minutes, he said, and unloaded in about five.

The system will work well for Marines who deploy with a Marine Expeditionary Unit, because the weapons and vehicles can be loaded onto the aircraft on a ship at sea and flown to a position on land, said 2nd Lt. Nathaniel Warthen, Bravo Battery platoon commander.

The EFSS is the only ground equipment that can travel inside the Osprey, said John Garner, program manager for the system.

"Without this equipment, what comes off this aircraft is only what the guys carry on their backs," he said.

Because all the equipment is new, the Marines have had to start from scratch in terms of training, Warthen said, including getting licensed to drive the vehicles and qualifying on the weapon.

Contact interactive content editor and military reporter Jennifer Hlad at jhlad@freedomenc.com or 910-219-8467.


02-12-09, 08:50 AM
Marines Train With New Expeditionary Fire Support System

By Laura Vesco
Published: February 11, 2009

There’s a new partner on the battlefield for Marine Corps Ospreys. Bravo Battery 1st Battalion, 10th Marines is training with a brand new mortar system that fits onto the Osprey.
] The new vehicles carry new mortars, lightweight artillery that packs a punch. Marines say when the new fire support system deploys it will add a lot more protection.

Corporal James Boyle says, “It will give us better advantages and able to get in closer to the combat better than what we have been able to and it allows a lot more protection. We can get into places a lot quicker and get out faster.”

Even though the new M327 120 millimeter mortars have a smaller round they still have close to the same casualty radius.

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http://www.wnct.com/nct/news/local/article/marines_train_with_new_expeditionary_fire_support_ system/31473/