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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
3/12 One Two Punch

By Cpl. Brandon Salas | 3rd Marine Division | February 27, 2020

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HOKKAIDO, Japan — U.S. Marines with Tango Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment (3/12), and Combined Anti-Armor Team (CAAT) Platoon from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, conducted a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) live fire exercise during Exercise Northern Viper at Yausubetsu Training Area, Hokkaido, Japan, Feb. 5, 2020.

The HIMARS Battery Commander and CAAT Platoon Commander developed a plan for the capture of a firing point from which HIMARS could quickly occupy and prosecute high-value targets deep in the enemy battlespace.

“It’s the Marine Corps’ current long strike fires capability,” said Capt. Daniel Erwin, Company Commander for Tango Battery, “CAAT helped to provide local security at the firing point for the launchers, they go in secure the area and allow the launchers to do what they were built for.”

The HIMARS has the ability to precisely deliver rockets from a great distance, it’s also unique in that it can easily maneuver on the ground or be transported by C-130 aircraft. The live-fire rounds, Reduced Range Practice Rockets, give Marines realistic training, but with a reduced range and impact.

Erwin said the importance of the operation is to ensure that we are utilizing our joint capability that is needed in the Indo-Pacific region. The training helps to create a unified team between a CAAT and HIMARS platoon.

The demonstration shows how flexible, scalable and mutually supporting/supported relationships between fires and maneuver demonstrates the versatility of the 3rd Marine Division.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase a capability that we have in the Pacific, and it’s exciting to wonder how much more we’ll be capable of in the future,” Said Erwin.

Northern Viper showcases a highly-capable, forward-deployed U.S. military presence positioned with their Japanese partners to directly support the security of the Indo-Pacific region. Exercises like this better prepare Japan and the U.S. for future conflict by fully integrating all domains of warfare (air, land, maritime, space and information).


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