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Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion-24 fire a turret-mouted M2 .50 Caliber Heavy Machine Gun durig the live fire portion of covoy operations training at U.S. Army Base Fort A.P. Hill Aug. 12. The week-long covoy operations training provided Marines an opportunity to drive vehicles in a multitude of scenarios.

Photo by LCpl. David J. Beall

CLB-24 keeps supply lines trucking

12 Aug 2009 | Lance Cpl. David J. Beall 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Stories of Marines taking the fight to insurgents have headlined at every news outlet for longer than most can remember; most telling tales of a brave band of brothers overcoming obstacles to defeat an ever-evolving enemy.  While these feats are admirable, they would never happen without the Marines risking their lives to supply these warriors with the essentials - food, water, ammunition and medical care and transport. 

Honing the skill of keeping Marines in the fight, Combat Logistics Battalion-24 pushed through long hours of convoy operations and tactics here, Aug. 8 through 12. 

From the moment CLB-24 arrived they have sharpened convoy operations skills, performing many types of operations varying from long distance convoys to live fire ranges. 

“Being a combat logistics battalion, we spend most of our time out on the road, especially the motor transport Marines transporting supplies to and from (bases),” said Capt. Stanley B. Bednar, operations officer, CLB-24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “You never know what may be encountered when you’re out there, which is why we’ve focused on every aspect of convoy operations here.” 

For Marines, the live fire range proved to be a crowd pleaser. For the ranges, Marines fired four M240 Gulf Machine Guns and two M2 .50 Caliber Heavy Machine Guns, all of which were mounted in turrets of tactical vehicles. 

Marines were able to engage several targets placed throughout a wooded terrain while on the move. Approximately 200 rounds were fired by each Marine who manned the M240G and 50 rounds to each on the M2 .50. 

“This training helps Marines become more proficient in shooting their weapons from the turret and gives drivers a chance to get used to driving with a gunner firing off rounds,” said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey R. Perry, motor transport chief, CLB-24, 24th MEU. 

After logging more miles and firing more rounds than one could count, the hard work paid dividends. 

“I think the Marines did awesome, they’ve worked extremely hard and this live fire range went very well. They all stayed safe, engaged their targets hit their targets and everyone is leaving with a smile on their face, you can’t get better training than that,” said Bednar.