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Marines with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion conduct a platoon live-fire exercise at Black Top training area June 20, 2013.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya

3rd LAR conducts live-fire maneuver

28 Jun 2013 | Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya

Marines and sailors with 2nd platoon, Company A., 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion participated in a live-fire training exercise in the Black Top training area June 19. They were supported by 4th LAR and conducted fire and maneuver exercises.

“Having four land assault vehicles is like having a big fire team,” said 1st Lt. William Yarborough, platoon commander, 2nd platoon, Co. A. “Fire and movement with an LAV is almost the same as a buddy rush. One is putting rounds down range with the main gun while the other is moving forward.”

LAVs are eight-wheeled, armored vehicles fitted with a main gun, which rotates 360 degrees. The standard LAVs are equipped with a 25mm chain gun, two 7.62mm machine guns and two four-barrel, smoke grenade launchers. The LAVs are also amphibious, meaning they have to ability to ‘swim’ but are limited to non-surf bodies of water.

These vehicles are used in a variety of different environments.

Light armored reconnaissance battalions are mobilized units that conduct reconnaissance missions ahead of battalion landing teams or infantry forces. They gather intelligence about the size, location, strengths or any other requested information about enemy forces. They are infantry-based units and are equipped with light armored vehicles.

There are four vehicles in a platoon of LAVs. The platoon is separated into Alpha section and Bravo Section. The sections are used for organization in the buddy rush or for other exercises.

There are three crewmen aboard LAVs and anywhere from two to four scouts. The crewmen are mainly in charge of operating the LAV while scouts dismount the vehicle to do further reconnaissance.

“It is important for us to get out here and do different types of live-fire training,” Yarborough said. “These Marines need to know what it feels and sounds like when actual rounds are going off so that they are not caught by surprise when it comes time to actually use all of this hard work they are doing.”
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