FORT PICKETT, Va. --
Marines from Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment and Combat Logistics Battalion 24 shoot rockets down range at decommissioned tanks during training exercises. The Marines fired two weapon systems; the first is the Shoulder Fired/Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon, which fires an 83MM rocket and also a 9MM spotter round. The second weapon system, the AT4 Rocket Launcher, fires an 84MM rocket.
Before the Marines can start sending rockets down range they are given an in-depth safety brief describing the course of actions that would be taken if an injury occurs while on the range. Following the safety brief the Marines are given refresher courses on the firing and misfiring procedures of the SMAW and the AT4. After the courses are completed the range “goes hot”, meaningt the personnel are ready to begin firing the weapons systems.
The first weapon system to be fired is the SMAW. The Marines practice their targeting skills by first shooting spotter/training rounds out of the 9MM rifle mounted on the side of the system. After the Marines are sighted in on their targets they are given the all clear to fire the rockets. The AT4 is the next system to be fired. A training AT4, firing a 9MM round capable of being reloaded, is used to sight in on the targets before a real rocket is fired. After all the ammunition is expended the range is cleared of all spent 9MM rounds and the Marines are released to carry out the plan of the day.
This range and other exercises during training operations help prepare the Marines for the upcoming deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.