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Marine Corps Base Hawaii

"Supporting Readiness and Global Projection"

Kings of Battle’ make steel rain

By Cpl. Nathan Knapke | Marine Corps Base Hawaii | March 21, 2014

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Artillery Marines with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, prepare the M777 155 mm Howitzer system for night fire operations during Operation Spartan Fury 14.2 at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, March 15, 2014.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Nathan Knapke)

Artillery Marines with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, prepare the M777 155 mm Howitzer system for night fire operations during Operation Spartan Fury 14.2 at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, March 15, 2014.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Nathan Knapke) (Photo by Cpl. Nathan Knapke)


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POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii --

A voice comes over the tactical field radio sending a command the artillery Marines are waiting for.

“Fire mission.”

Instantaneously, Marines on the gun line suit up in their personal protective equipment gear and position themselves to start the loading and firing processes of the M777 155 mm howitzer system and M327 120 mm mortar system.

Approximately 240 Marines with Headquarters, Bravo and Charlie Batteries, of 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment conducted battalion combined-arms, live-fire exercises with the M777 155 mm Howitzer and M327 120 mm mortar systems during Operation Spartan Fury 14.2 at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, March 14 through 17.

The exercise is designed to keep the battalion operationally ready by maintaining and increasing the proficiency in artillery operations in each Marine. During the CALFEX exercise, Marines in each battery maintained training and readiness standards which they previously completed in the operation.

“We’re currently in the battalion centralized phase of Spartan Fury 14.2,” said 2nd Lt. Michael Stevens, the guns platoon commander for Bravo Battery, 1st Bn., 12th Marines and a 29-year-old native of Newtown Square, Penn. “It’s where the battalion as a whole can train to fight in a direct-support role for an infantry regiment.”

The operation also allowed Marines to further relationships with each battery and become the best functioning battalion possible.

“It’s essential for all batteries to work together throughout every exercise,” said Cpl. Joshua Reed, a field radio operator with Bravo Battery, 1st Bn., 12th Marines and a 24-year-old native of Polson, Mont. “Just from a radio Marine point of view, we get into a rhythm and understand what to expect from other operators on the radio. We learn each other’s voices and habits on the radio and as we hit our peak of the exercise, the communication amongst all agencies is seamless. Without efficient communication, we cannot operate at our best. I take my job very seriously because every mission needs to be completed the right way. ”

“During the initial stages of Spartan Fury the battery operated in a decentralized capacity,” Stevens added. “Bravo Battery fired more than 900 rounds of 155 mm ammunition, specifically training to the training and readiness standards, as an evaluation prior to the unit deployment program in June. In the latter stages of 14.2, the battery is expected to fire another 700 rounds during the battalion centralized portion of training, an aspect of that allows the battalion to train to the expectations of supporting a full infantry regiment during combat operations.”

Image12th Marine Regiment Image1st Battalion ImageOperation Spartan Fury 14.2 ImagePohakuloa Training Area

4 Comments


  • Sgt. JC Preuss 122 days ago
    I served with BSSG 1 from KMCAS as a 2131 (Arty Mech). Spent many weeks there training. Good times! Looks like the M198 has been replaced by the M777. The 5 ton even looks different. I wonder what else has changed...LOL!
    Semper Fi and fight on Marines!
    JC (Pendleton, HI and Desert Storm)
  • Cpl. Erick S. Mack 213 days ago
    Put in my time there in 2003! Semper Fi!
  • Paul Marquis 213 days ago
    I served with Bravo 1/12 from Aug 1967 to Sept 1968 in Vietnam. We have an association for those that served Bravo 1/12 from 1965 to 1969 in Vietnam. Semper Fi
    Paul
    www.BravoArtillery.org
  • Frank Derr 214 days ago
    Love a fire mission. Used to take convoys thru PTA for drivers training out of KMCAS. Stay safe Marines and thank-you for your service, Semper Fi

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