CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – Servicemen and women aboard Camp Lejeune are undergoing their Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation.
The week focuses on their timeliness, proficiency, and accuracy. This is the first phase for Marines and Sailors in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines to prove their ready for deployment.
“The Marine Corps Combat Readiness Exercise is really the battalion’s evaluation of how well we can process and support the battalion with regards to indirect fire capabilities,” said 1st Lt. Oliver McKellips.
Observers will indicate the location of the targets and relay that information through their computers and plotting boards.
“Communication is pretty huge. Without comms, if it’s down, we can’t talk to our FOs (forward observers), they can’t talk to us. We can’t prosecute any missions,” said LCpl. Derik Mire.
The mortar platoon will then fire offensive and defensive missions.
“We’ll shoot from the 81-millimeter system, mortar system, and then we’ll shoot it downrange, hit target,” added Mire.
It’s all while adjusting their position until they’re hitting their target accurately.
“These Marines have been training nonstop for months and months and months to get to the level of proficiency that they’re at right now. So really, this is just to come out here and prove their proficiency,” said McKellips.
The entire chain of command works together to prove their ability to respond in a high-stress situation.
“The faster that we can get accurate rounds out on target, then the faster we speed up the kill chain, the faster we kill the enemy at the end of the day,” McKellips said.
Their final phase, APEX Attacks, will earn the service members their title to head overseas.