U.S. Marines Conduct First Training Sessions on the Corps' New High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
DALLAS, TX, September 24th, 2002 -- The U.S. Marine Corps recently completed its first installment of field training on their new Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers at Fort Sill Field Artillery School, Okla. After their first few sessions, one Marine Corporal participating in the exercises proclaimed the launchers "the missing link in Marine artillery. In addition to the Marine units, a United States Army brigade also trained on the HIMARS Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) launchers. Six HIMARS EMD launchers were delivered to the U.S. Army recently, along with two additional launchers for the Marine Corps.
The training was part of Lockheed Martin's commitment to deliver HIMARS to the Army and the Marines and to provide maintenance, as well as contractor logistical and training support. The Marine units involved were Battery F, 2ND battalion, 14th Marines, a Marine Reserve unit out of Oklahoma City, and the U.S. Marines HIMARS Test Unit at Fort Sill.
"These were the first U.S. Marines to train specifically on the new U.S. Marine HIMARS launchers," said Ron Abbott, vice president - Fire Support for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We delivered the first HIMARS units to the Corps in July, so these exercises were their first training sessions on Marine-owned launchers. And from what we've heard from the field, the Marine Corps was thrilled with the system."
The Marines involved in the training exercises expressed their elation about the capabilities of the Corps' new HIMARS launchers. "HIMARS was highly maneuverable and powerful on hard surface or cross-country," said Sgt. Richard Arellanez. Sgt. Richard Pineda added, "HIMARS is bringing the Marine Corps into the futuristic battlefield, especially with the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of munitions." Cpl. Phillip Pitts said, "HIMARS is the birth of new technology that will lead us into tomorrow's future with force." Cpl. Michael Quackenbush summed it up neatly by adding, "HIMARS is the missing link in Marine artillery."
Because of its C-130 transportability, HIMARS can be deployed into areas previously inaccessible to larger launchers. It also sports the self-loading, autonomous features that have made MLRS the premier rocket artillery system in the world. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile. Its fire control system, electronics and communications units are interchangeable with the MLRS M270A1 launcher, and the crew and training are the same.
HIMARS is capable of launching the new Guided MLRS, the next major step in the evolution of the MLRS Family of Munitions, offering advanced capabilities, reduced logistics support and precision attack. Designed to enable troops to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations, after launching, HIMARS can move away from the area at high speed before enemy forces are able to locate the launch site. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.