USMC Puts Armored Vehicles on Navy Ships to Defend Against Enemy Boats

The drills have been conducted in the South China Sea

U.S. Marines simulating traveling through dangerous waters strapped vehicles to the flight deck of a Navy ship to combat enemy boats and other threats as a joint team. 

In September, Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary, or MEU, parked light armored vehicles atop the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp during a defense drill.

The drill in the South China Sea, known as the Indo-Pacific region, was to rehearse ship security using a variety of small-arms and heavy weapons.

“Increasing the lethality of the Navy-Marine Corps Team is the priority for us. Sailors and Marines are doing amazing work and we are becoming more lethal every single day,” said Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet.

As part of the drill, crews also fired mounted machine guns. It allowed Marine snipers to fire M107 semi-automatic sniper rifles, and machine gunners to employ lethal fires. 

Sailors and Marines fired on an inflatable gunnery target commonly called a “killer tomato” while in open seas.

“We demonstrated collective combat effectiveness,” said Capt. Jim McGovern, commander of Amphibious Squadron 11. “The ability of these Sailors and Marines to fully integrate, get weapons systems on deck, helicopters in the air, and rounds down range in such a timely manner shows that we are ready for anything." 

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