MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Gunners with Battery A, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, conducted Stinger launch simulator training April 21 at Cherry Point.
“This training benefits the gunners of the unit,” said Gunnery Sgt. James P. Ulery, operations chief for Battery A, 2nd LAAD Bn. “This training gives them a chance to gain confidence in their ability to fire a live Stinger missile.”
Ulery said a 2nd LAAD Marine’s primary mission is to protect ground units from air-attack, and Stingers are the main weapon to perform the task.
Stinger missiles are able to track and engage aircraft up to an altitude of 10,000 feet and cover a distance of eight kilometers.
“It’s expensive to fire a real Stinger missile,” said Ulery. “We use this training to give the Marines the live-fire feel for less than an eighth of the expense. They are experiencing the exact feel of a real Stinger missile launch from the beginning sequence of fire, to the actual kick power that is felt.”
The Marines fired a 25-pound aluminum tube out of the Stinger missile launcher to simulate the initial firing of the actual Stinger missile.
The simulator has the initial loft shot of the real missile, and then propels itself to the target.
“At 2nd LAAD we thrive on our training,” said Ulery. “We train to be the best at what we do, and this training we do helps prepare our Marines to be the best.”
For some 2nd LAAD Marines, it was their first time firing the Stinger launch simulator missile.
“This was my first time firing the simulator, and it definitely gives you the real-life simulation of a live Stinger missile,” said Lance Cpl. Joseph S. Spindle, a gunner with Battery A, 2nd LAAD Bn. “It gives you a feel of a live missile’s kick, and it was great getting a chance to freshen-up our tactical skills.”
The focus of the training was to allow these Marines become familiar with their air-defense tactics techniques and procedures. Ulery said the training has afforded his Marines the opportunity to get a better feel for firing the actual Stinger, and he is confident that his Marines have a better knowledge of what to expect in combat.
“Our Marines got the training we needed them to get,” said Ulery. “These trainers don’t have a strong back-blast like the real missile, however, people can still get hurt from the missile fire that comes out of the launcher.”