BRADSHAW FIELD TRAINING AREA, Australia -- High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS, Marines with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, a part of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, participated in Exercise Southern Reach, a live-fire training exercise at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Australia from 13-15 August.
The HIMARS Marines fired two Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System munitions, known as GMLRS, in Australia for the first time ever. 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.