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Marines with Battery N, 5th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, fire an M777 A2 howitzer during a series of integrated firing exercises at the Combat Center’s Quakenbush Training Area April 26, 2013. (Official USMC photo by Cpl William J. Jackson/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi

Heavy Artillery: Reserve unit teams up with active counterparts

3 May 2013 | Cpl. Ali Azimi

Marines with Batteries O and N, 5th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, conducted a series of integrated firing exercises in conjunction with 11th Marine Regiment at the Combat Center’s Quakenbush Training Area, April 26.

Fifth battalion is a reserve artillery unit from Seal Beach, Calif., and arrived at the Combat Center the day prior as part of their routine drill. 

“It’s a pretty outstanding opportunity for the reserves to get to integrate with their active duty counterparts and get some good training,” said Maj. Kevin Jackson, operations officer, Headquarters Battery, 5/14.

The batteries executed continuous fire missions throughout the day leading into the night portion.

The light from the howitzers’ fire briefly lit up the dark desert plains, only to return to darkness as the Marines began to reload their cannons. With little to no light, the two batteries with 5/14 were successfull in meeting their objectives and hitting their mark.

After their night-fire, the battalions packed up and changed positions. They transported the 7,500-pound howitzer as they drove across nearly 10 miles of rough desert terrain, using their night-vision goggles to see through the darkness.

All these exercises are meant to increase the proficiency of these Marines, said Sgt. Travis Hill, section chief, Battery N, 5/14. Where active-duty Marines have training day-in and day out, the reserve battalion only has a few days of drill to execute all their training.

“We’re out here training the Marines, making sure they are proficient at their cannoneer duties and successfully putting rounds down range safely,” Hill added.

The batteries regularly train at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. This was the first time 5/14 has trained at the Combat Center since Javelin Thrust 2012.

“Out here it’s open,” Hill said. “At Camp Pendleton, we’re restricted. We all shoot at the same grid. At Twentynine Palms, it’s a more open and free training environment.”

The battalion finished working with 11th Regiment April 29. They are scheduled to return in June to support the Integrated Training Exercise. Marines with Batteries O and N, 5th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, conducted a series of integrated firing exercises in conjunction with 11th Marine Regiment at the Combat Center’s Quakenbush Training Area, April 26.

Fifth battalion is a reserve artillery unit from Seal Beach, Calif., and arrived at the Combat Center the day prior as part of their routine drill. 

“It’s a pretty outstanding opportunity for the reserves to get to integrate with their active duty counterparts and get some good training,” said Maj. Kevin Jackson, operations officer, Headquarters Battery, 5/14.

The batteries executed continuous fire missions throughout the day leading into the night portion.

The light from the howitzers’ fire briefly lit up the dark desert plains, only to return to darkness as the Marines began to reload their cannons. With little to no light, the two batteries with 5/14 were successfull in meeting their objectives and hitting their mark.

After their night-fire, the battalions packed up and changed positions. They transported the 7,500-pound howitzer as they drove across nearly 10 miles of rough desert terrain, using their night-vision goggles to see through the darkness.

All these exercises are meant to increase the proficiency of these Marines, said Sgt. Travis Hill, section chief, Battery N, 5/14. Where active-duty Marines have training day-in and day out, the reserve battalion only has a few days of drill to execute all their training.

“We’re out here training the Marines, making sure they are proficient at their cannoneer duties and successfully putting rounds down range safely,” Hill added.

The batteries regularly train at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. This was the first time 5/14 has trained at the Combat Center since Javelin Thrust 2012.

“Out here it’s open,” Hill said. “At Camp Pendleton, we’re restricted. We all shoot at the same grid. At Twentynine Palms, it’s a more open and free training environment.”

The battalion finished working with 11th Regiment April 29. They are scheduled to return in June to support the Integrated Training Exercise.
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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms