first published on July 7, 2017 by Josh
The machine gun section is the backbone of every infantry line company in the Marine Corps. They provide the direct fire support needed in order for the infantry platoon to close with enemy forces. In the video below, a machine gun team with BLT 3/5 conducts a live fire exercise off of the flight deck of the Bonhomme Richard. Their target is a red float, often called a “killer tomato” that simulates another vessel attacking the ship.
Marines are often tasked with the long range security of ships while going through dangerous straights and canals. Machine gun teams, snipers, and even conventional infantry platoons man positions around the ship to keep an eye out for nefarious activity from pirates or other objects that may cause damage to the ship. They act as a force protection unit in order to ensure the safety and security of the ship as it travels through these often dangerous areas.