Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Luther Sackett, a rifleman from Rockyford, Co., rushes toward targets during a live-fire and maneuver exercise here Jan. 29. Sackett, and other Marines with Light Armored Reconnaissance Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/4, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted live-fire weapons shoots and trained with the French Army Jan. 28-Feb. 5.

Photo by Sgt. Scott Biscuiti

LAR lights up Djibouti

5 Feb 2010 | Sgt. Scott Biscuiti 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Light Armored Reconnaissance Platoon hit the Djibouti shore for live-fire weapons shoots and bilateral training with the French Army Jan. 28-Feb. 5.

It was the first time the platoon conducted a live-fire and maneuver exercise since before they deployed in November, 2009.

The bulk of the training included fire team maneuvers from light armored vehicles, firing the LAVs M242 25 mm chain gun and vehicle maneuvers with French soldiers during one of their field exercises.

"They retained all their skills and performed above our expectations," said Sgt. Eric Laisure, a section leader with the platoon and Hesperia, Mich., native.

Light armored vehicle crewman and dismounted scouts worked together to assault through a fire and maneuver course and crewman and vehicle commanders had a chance to locate and destroy targets with the thundering 25mm Bushmaster.

Constant sand storms and the ever present moon dust slowed the training at times, but didn't affect the Marine's performance, said Gunnery Sgt. Matt Vickers, the LAR platoon sergeant and Decatur, Ill., native.

"They showed brilliance of the basics," Vickers said about the platoon's performance. "It's the best our guys have done."

Marine Corps News

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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit