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Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group assemble a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station during a training exercise at the battalion’s maintenance bay aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 19, 2012. The CROWS is a remote controlled weapon system that gives service members the ability to engage the enemy without leaving the safety of their own vehicle. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Motorized weapon system supplements Marines’ abilities

19 Apr 2012 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hosted an exercise where they tested a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station at the battalion’s maintenance bay aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 19.

The CROWS is a remote controlled weapon system that gives service members the ability to engage the enemy without leaving the safety of their own vehicle.

It is capable of being mounted on several vehicle platforms and holding a Mk19 Grenade Launcher, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M240B Machine Gun or a .50 Caliber M2 Machine Gun.

The Marine Corps is constantly striving to improve its capabilities in the fight against terror to include troops serving in a logistical capacity. Dozens of motor vehicle operators attended to gain valuable knowledge to aid them in a scheduled deployment to Afghanistan later this year.

One of the Marines who participated in the event was Cpl. German A. Benitez, a motor vehicle operator with CLB-2. The Little Elm, Texas, native has been participating in classes for two weeks.

“The system has its pros and cons,” Benitez said. “Its new to us and whenever you are learning a new way of doing things it’s a little difficult.”

He furthermore explained the pros and cons of the system, which made quite an impression on his fellow Marines.

“The fact that you can stay in your vehicle is an obvious advantage and great safety feature,” Benitez said. “It’s also has thermal vision which is helpful at night.

“Some of the bad is you lose a sense of awareness when using the system. It’s easier to spot things when your head is on a swivel instead of staring at a screen, but I’m sure as we get more training on it we will adapt and overcome the little things to use the system at its full potential.”

As the Marines cycled through the class, others received the opportunity to test the CROWS and experience futuristic-like technology.

“It’s my first time using a system like this and it seems great,” said Lance Cpl. Brandon Willis, a radio technician with the battalion. “The CROWS is intelligent and responsive. I’m looking forward to getting more training like this in the future.”

The Marine Corps is not currently using the system in a theater of war, but CLB-2 and its Marines are preparing for a future of more technology-rich warfare.


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