The U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, a part of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D), fired Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System munitions, known as GMLRS, during Southern Reach, at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia on August 15, 2019.
The HIMARS Marines fired two GMLRS in Australia for the first time ever, according to Cpl. Kallahan Morris. The HIMARS is a weapons system made up of the M142, five-ton chassis vehicle and can carry either a launcher pod of six rockets or one MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
The live-fire training conducted was over an area of 3,282 square miles.
HIMARS is participating in MRF-D for the first time. These Marines and equipment provide MRF-D an extended range precision strike capability that can further shape the battlespace.
“These being the first GMLRS in Australia to be shot, I felt honored to have that opportunity,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Daniel Pavelka, one of the HIMARS Marines a part of the exercise.
Not only were two GIMLRS munition shot, there were multiple rounds of Reduced Range Practice Rocket (RRPR) shot from each M241 HIMARS truck.
The MRF-D Marines with the battery set a precedent for HIMARS in Australia and enjoyed training in a new environment.
“This training was especially good because maneuvering a 24,000 pound M241 HIMARS truck through the thick brush terrain was not an easy task,” said Cpl. Alex Scholl, an M241 HIMARS driver.
Southern Reach had three M241 HIMARS trucks; each was paired with a gun truck, better known as a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMVV), mounted with an M240 machine gun operating the training area.
From the insert to extract, the HIMARS Marines with MRF-D conducted multiple fire missions, shot two GMLRS rounds, and enjoyed training in the heat of Australia’s Northern Territory dry-season.
The Marines went to Bradshaw Field Training Area with the mindset to train hard during the exercise and executed well.