A platoon of anti-armor Marines mounted tactical vehicles and fired small-arms weapons to engage training targets at a range here Jan. 30 in their first live-fire and maneuver exercise since deploying November 2011 with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Combine Anti-Armor Team 1 – one of two teams in Weapons Company – provide specialized firepower for the unit’s ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 3/1.
The platoon laid down suppressive fire from medium and heavy machine guns while motoring toward an enemy simulation.
“It’s important to continually train because as a combined anti-armor team, we have to be able to move as a mounted force to accomplish a mission,” said platoon sergeant Gunnery Sgt. Lewis Layton. Layton, 29, hails from New Port Richey, Fla.
Sgt. Benjamin Wooden, a vehicle commander with the platoon, said the training helped each Marine identify his deficiencies and work on gunnery skills.
“They did really well,” Wooden said. “It was a good opportunity to come out and conduct conventional operations.”
Elements of the unit are currently deployed aboard USS Makin Island as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force. The group is providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of responsibility.