Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ordnance Marines

I don't know why this took me, but I thought the story was pretty cool. I have heard it said the Marines get what's handed down and leftover from the Air Force. If this is so, it is because Marines know how to make something of it that the Air Force couldn't. Semper Fi!

Photo by Pfc. Sean Dennison Lance Cpl. Devin Davis, a Marine Attack Squadron 513 ordnance technician and Washington Courthouse, Ohio, native, unloads flares from one of the squadron's AV-8B Harriers on the flightline of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, July 23.
Combat innovations multiply Marine Corps Harriers’ punch
                                    MOS 6531 - - Aircraft Ordnance TechnicianJob Description: This MOS encompasses duties incident: to the inspection, maintenance and repair of armament equipment and loading of aviation ordnance on Marine Corps aircraft. The aircraft ordnance technician performs a variety of duties and tasks such as inspecting ammunition, testing aircraft systems, performing preventative maintenance and effecting repairs, loading and fuzing ammunition and arming/dearming aircraft.

ABOARD USS BOXER - An Aviation Ordnance Marine assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4) stands ready to "hot-load" a 2.75-inch rocket onto a UH-1N Huey Helicopter during Malabar 2006. Hot-loading is loading ammunition onto an aircraft with engines running. Malabar 2006 is the first time the Navy and Marine Corps completed a hot-load at sea. Malabar 2006 is a multinational exercise between the U.S., Indian and Canadian armed forces to increase interoperability between the three nations and support international security cooperation missions.
Photo submitted 11/21/2006 Taken by Seaman James Seward
Marine Link

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sgt. Reckless, one of my favorite Marines

Sgt Reckless was a small chestnut-colored horse with a white blaze on her face and three white stocking feet who joined the marines in 1952.  She was purchased at the Seoul Racetrack from a young Korean and  was originally named “Flame “but became “Reckless,” after the nickname Marines had given to the recoilless rifle.She went through equine boot camp, learning to jump in and out of a jeep, how to take cover and carry loads of ammunition on a pack saddle. Later she also learned to string telephone wire. She was a true heroine at the re-taking of Vegas where she made 51 trips from the ASP to the gun sites that day, carrying 386 rounds, despite being injured by shrapnel. She transported more than 9,000 pounds of explosives! After the war a private company provided free passage for Reckless to travel to the United States. She was guest of honor at many events over the years and gave birth to four foals.  She was promoted to staff sergeant in 1959 and retired on Nov. 10, 1960, with full military honors. Korean war hero
Reckless’ decorations included two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she proudly wore on her scarlet and gold blanket.On May 13, 1968, the Corps lost a dear friend with the passing away of SSgt Reckless. Some reports state she was 19 and others say 20 when she was injured and had to be put to sleep.But, the legend of Reckless lives on.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

MCT in the field

So, Marine is in the field and won't be able to call us this weekend. Normally part of MCT is weekend liberty on base, which means they can call parents, friends, wives etc. during certain times during the weekend. My son called a lot last weekend. I guess it was pretty boring hanging around.
So in the field ... same old, same old. Marching up and down, shooting things, eating MREs ... these photos and text are all from the same source: Ben in 2002

MREs in the field
 Ben's MCT course went from November 13 through November 30, 2002.  MCT is a course that all non-combat-arms Marines must undergo, so that they all have a basic uFor those of us at home, MCT was very different from boot camp in a couple of key ways.  First, they were given liberty on Sundays, so Ben got to call home.  Second, since the course was so short, it really didn't make sense to send mail.  We tried anyway.
They get an understanding of small unit tactics and basic familiarity with infantry weapons.  As I told Ben when he was leaving, "Pay close attention.  This could save your life some day."'          
Sleeping in metal sheds

Loading up
Some people take cell phones to MCT.  The problem is, the School of Infantry where the course takes place is pretty remote. Some phones won't work there. Ben described MCT as very active, little sleep, and a lot of spending the night outside.  It is a neat course.  They get to use hand grenades, grenade launchers, and the SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon).  The instructors treated them differently to the way the DI's treated them in boot camp, which was greatly appreciated and added to the effectiveness of  the training.

I have noticed that there is very little change over the years. Some minor rules may change, but the same training formulas used for thousands of years are still used today, from once to always.

Egyptions training

Spartans training

Huns training

Friday, July 8, 2011

Week 1 MCT

Everywhere I am reminded my child is learning the tools of war, the rolls of anguish, the bringing of death. I don't know if he really knows yet ... but I do, and as proud and honored I am to have such a warrior child, I am also terrified.

Week One: Classes & Practical Application

The first week of Marine Combat Training you’ll spend doing simple classes and practical application. You’ll take a class in the morning and then do the prac app in the afternoon. The first few weeks of class consist of learning about radios, automatic weapons, first aide, grenade launcher, AT-4s and other field equipment. In the afternoon you’ll work hands-on with the equipment to learn its parts and functions. Kevin Webb

The AT4 was designed in the late 1980's for use against the improved armor of light armored vehicles. Although the AT4 is mainly used as an anti-armor weapon, it may be used with limited success against secondary targets such as gun emplacements, pillboxes, buildings or light vehicles. Gary's

The M203 is a single-shot grenade launcher that attaches to the M16 assault rifle under the barrel. Used in combat and training scenarios; Fires 40mm grenades, including high-explosive, smoke, illuminating, buckshot direct fire, CS gas and training grenades; The M203 system includes the launcher, adaptors, leaf sights and quadrant sights. weapons

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Combat training (MCT)

So our Marine left today for Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton.

Marine Combat Training is a 29-day course (prior to September 2007 it was 22 days) in which entry-level non-infantry Marines are taught the common skills needed in combat.
Marines learn the basics of combat marksmanship, counter-improvised explosive device techniques, how to conduct the defence of a position, convoy operations, combat formations, fireteam assaults, patrolling, MOUT, use of the AN/PRC-119 radio reporting military intelligence, land navigation, and the use of hand grenades, the M203 grenade launcher, AT-4 rocket launcher, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and M240 machine gun. Training also includes combat conditioning by running an obstacle course, conducting hikes, physical training, and Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
When he is finished, the Marine is to have gained the knowledge and ability to operate in a combat environment as a basic rifleman and to perform his or her primary duties under fire.

So this is what Marine is doing tomorrow:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Family Day/Graduation

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get back here. We had an interesting and eventful trip to California for our Marine's graduation and family day. I am posting some of the photos of the events here as a round out of this part of our boot camp adventure. Yes, it was mostly his adventure but, as my sister said, the journey on this blog and the investigative process has helped us understand better what it is all about and maybe a bit about why he has made this choice in his life. Enjoy ...

Thursday Family Day, first live glimpse of my son after 13 weeks.

Lining up for the motivational (Moto) run.

Moto Run

Family Day, first hug after forever (aka 13 weeks).

Graduation Day, the band takes the field.

India Company, Platoon 3206, graduates Marine Boot Camp!