Army Mariners shoot “tomatoes” on open ocean

| October 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

A Soldier with the 605th Transportation Detachment, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, fires an M320 grenade launcher at a target in the Pacific Ocean during a waterborne range aboard the 8th TSC’s Logistics Support Vehicle-2, Oct. 4, 2017, approximately 40 miles south of Pearl Harbor. The waterborne range helped familiarize Soldiers with the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station, or CROWS, mounted with a M2 .50 caliber machine gun, as well as other weapon systems such as the M249, the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, shotgun, and a M320 grenade launcher. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers)

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers
U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR — Soldiers with the 605th Transportation Detachment, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command unleashed a barrage of bullets into the Pacific Ocean during a live fire exercise at sea, approximately 40 miles south of Pearl Harbor.

The training took place on the 8th TSC’s Logistic Support Vessel (LSV–2) CW3 Harold C. Clinger, one of eight LSVs in service across the entire Army, on Oct. 4.

The LSV-2 is one of the Army assets providing over-the-water transportation of equipment and personnel to increase maneuverability and readiness throughout the Pacific region.

Sgt. Rebecca Sheriff, a watercraft operator with the 605th Transportation Detachment, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, fires at a target in the Pacific Ocean during a waterborne range aboard the 8th TSC’s Logistics Support Vehicle-2, Oct. 4, 2017, approximately 40 miles south of Pearl Harbor. The waterborne range helped familiarize Soldiers with the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station, or CROWS, mounted with a M2 .50 caliber machine gun, as well as other weapon systems such as the M249, the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, shotgun, and a M320 grenade launcher. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers)

“While we are out here in Oahu we travel back and forth from Oahu to the Big Island of Hawaii delivering training equipment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Donald Dinsmore, detachment sergeant for the 605th Trans Det. “We will transport anyone’s equipment who requests it. We mainly work with Army and the Marines, but if a Navy unit requested it (through the customer process) we would support them.”

The live-fire training at sea helped familiarize Soldiers with the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station, or CROWS. The CROWS system allows Soldiers to operate weapons systems from inside a vehicle.

Readiness
“When we are in Hawaii we’re in safe waters, but (at) any time we can be called to go to a foreign country and we have to be able to defend ourselves,” said Dinsmore. “There are threats all throughout the world and we have to be able to react to save the vessel and the crew.”

The Soldiers practiced firing with an M2 .50-caliber machine gun mounted to the CROWS system. They also practiced firing with an M249 light machine gun, a shotgun, and a M320 grenade launcher.

During the training, Soldiers honed their skills by firing the various weapon systems at “tomatoes,” inflatable targets called released from the LSV-2.

It was Pvt. Alec Salazar’s second time shooting on a waterborne range, but his first time firing an M249 on an LSV.

“It’s definitely different,” Salazar, a watercraft operator with the 605th Trans. Det., said. “When we’re shooting on land we’re in the prone position. When you’re on the boat it’s mounted, and if you’re a tall guy you have to slump over it to make sure you get a good sight picture. The water is also going back and forth; it’s definitely more of a challenge.”

Salazar, who has been with the crew approximately five months, said of the weapon systems he fired, the M2 .50-caliber machine gun mounted to the CROW system was easiest.

Sgt. Rebecca Sheriff, a watercraft operator with the 605th Trans. Det., also enjoyed using the CROWS.

“When using the M2 .50 caliber on the vessel when it’s not mounted to the CROWS, it’s a lot harder, you see your target directly, you walk your weapon up to the target,” said Sheriff. “Where the CROWS is very accurate, it locks on to the target and holds it; even though the boat can be rocking, it still holds on to your target so when you fire it’s more accurate.”

Sheriff said she is already looking forward to the next waterborne range.

“I love to fire; knowing that I’m accurate and proficient, I like that,” said Sheriff. “I’m always looking for a range; they’re long days, but I’ll take it.”

The LSV is a unique, self-sustaining vessel with a shallow draft enabling it to dock at almost any shore. The vessel’s cargo deck is designed to hold any vehicle in the U.S. Army inventory, and it is able to carry up to 2,000 short tons of cargo during operations.

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