Tuesday, November 3, 2020

U.S. Marine HIMARS loads on Army landing craft for the first time

U.S. Marines with 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, and U.S. Soldiers with 97th Transportation Company, 10th Support Group, successfully embarked and disembarked a U.S. Marine High Mobility Artillery Rocket System onto a U.S. Army Vessel Harpers Ferry (LCU-2022)  during a joint service HIMARS embarkation training exercise in Okinawa, Japan.

This marks the first time a Marine HIMARS was loaded on an Army landing craft in the Indo-Pacific, according to a recent 3rd Marine Division news release.

Strategic mobility is key in the Indo-Pacific due to the terrain and abundance of water. The ability to transport the HIMARS over water is a vital capability that the 3rd Marine Division is now able to expand upon by partnering with the 10th Support Group, which is able to provide strategic mobility quickly and effectively for HIMARS and other critical assets.

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“This training today represents that nothing in this region happens in isolation, ” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael Roach, the commanding officer of 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. “Our ability to strengthen our alliances and deter any adversaries occurs when we [work] jointly, not only with our Army partners but with our allies as well.”

This training marked the first, but not the last time 3rd Marine Division will partner with 10th Support Group in HIMARS mobility. While this was a critical first step, there is still progress to be made to improve communication, processes, and flexibility between the two units and services.

“With additional [repetitions] we will be able to make our joint capabilities smoother,” said U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. David Morgan, a field artillery chief with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. “The importance of this operation is to ensure we are utilizing our joint capability and the flexibility that is needed in the Indo-Pacific area so we can come together as a unified team in the future.”

Offering Multiple Launch Rocket System firepower on a wheeled chassis, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is the newest member of the MLRS launcher family. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of GMLRS rockets or one TACMS missile on the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) 5-ton truck, and can launch the entire MLRS family of munitions.

HIMARS is the most technically advanced, affordable and sustainable artillery solution. Provides cutting-edge technology on an indigenous platform.

Maximum commonality with M270A1 launch system and MLRS interoperability. Simplifies coalition operations, training, logistics and coordination.

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