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Subject: Sierra Battery at Camp Buehring, Kuwait
ArtyEngineer    9/15/2009 11:24:08 PM
Atrical from divids in next post.
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ArtyEngineer       9/15/2009 11:26:31 PM
Good lord but I mangled the word "Article" !!!!!!!

Conversations and Down Time on the Sierra Battery Gun Line

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Public Affairs
Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Epright

Conversations and down time on the Sierra Battery gun line" />
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait ? A person might come across some interesting conversation topics on the gun line with Sierra Battery, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, as they conduct fire missions in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert.

The barter value of chewing tobacco in the field:
Marine One: "What kind of dip you got?"
Marine Two: "The kind you put in your lip."
Marine One: "Give me some."
Marine Two: "Why?"
Marine One: "I gave you a cigarette earlier."
Marine Two: "So?"
Marine One: "And some chap stick."
Marine Two: "Alright. Here you go."

Nicholas Cage's acting:
Marine One: "You can't compare 'Face Off' and 'Matchstick Men,' they're two completely different movies."
Marine Two: "But they're both Nick Cage."
Marine One: "Well, then you need to compare 'Face Off' and 'The Rock.'"

But when a fire mission comes over the radio, there is only one conversation, one voice that is heard at Sierra Battery's Gun 5, known as "Steel Reserve."

Section Chief Cpl. Kyle Street: "Fire mission!"
All the Marines of Steel Reserve: "Fire Mission!"
Street: "One round H-E-P-D!"
All others: "One round H-E-P-D!"
Street: "Charge, three hotel!"
All others: "Charge, three hotel!"
Street: "Deflection, thirty-two-oh-one!"
All others: "Deflection, thirty-two-oh-one!"
Street: "Quadrant, two zero eight!"
All others: "Quadrant, two zero eight!"
Street: "Stand by."
All others: "Stand by."
Street: "FIRE!"

And then all conversation ceases as the cannon known as Steel Reserve lends its booming 155mm opinion to the discussion.

"You feel it in your chest ? the 'BOOM.' There's nothing like it," says Memphis, Tenn., native Street. "It's adrenaline like nothing else."

Street has been firing the big guns for his whole Marine Corps career ? first the venerable M198 Howitzer and now the lightweight M777. Before the Corps, he even did a short stint as an artilleryman in the Tennessee Army National Guard.

He and his assistant section chief, Cpl. Brian Miller of Chicago, both Iraq veterans, keep it light when they're not sending steel downrange. They say it has a positive impact on their Marines' performance.

"If you get people talking in between fire missions, kind of relaxing, nobody gets stressed out during the fire mission," says Miller. "It keeps everybody calm and everyone knows exactly what they're supposed to do."

Street and Miller take advantage of lulls in the pace to ensure the younger Marines on the gun know not only their jobs, but other jobs on the gun as well.

"We've basically pulled ourselves off the gun and said 'alright, you better learn how to run this now,'" said Cpl. Caleb Guy, a native of Torch Lake, Mich., and the third member of a team of veteran corporals that keeps Steel Reserve running smooth.

The three were brought up together in the same gun team and operated together through their time as a mounted security force in Iraq.

The last several weeks of their last deployment, they helped build an artillery firebase from scratch in a corner of Al Taqquaddum Air Base in Iraq.

Middle-of-the-night counter-fire missions kept them sharp and got them to the point where they were able to go from a dead sleep, to firing the first round out of the tube within 30 seconds.

"As soon as you hear 'counter-fire,' without even thinking, you would be out the door before you even realized what was going on," said Guy. "If you walked in there and yelled 'counter-fire,' you would get us jumping out of the rack."

Speed like that is the key to maintaining superiority on the gun line, he says.

"From the training drills we do, to the actual fire missions, everything is to see who is the better gun," said Guy.

The competition even extends off the gun line.

"Even when it comes down to [physical training]
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Carl S       9/18/2009 8:02:28 PM
Street has been firing the big guns for his whole Marine Corps career ? first the venerable M198 Howitzer and now the lightweight M777. Before the Corps, he even did a short stint as an artilleryman in the Tennessee Army National Guard.

"..venerable M198 Howitzer.."   ???? Now wait a minute it aint that old We just recived the first batch on Okinawa in 1984.  If you want venreable try the M101 Those had been in th USMC inventory since 1941 or 42.  During Desert Shield we broke out four of them from storage and trained a light platoon for the battery.  Heard rumors they were still in the lejune & Pendlton storage buildings as late as 2005.
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ArtyEngineer    Carl   9/18/2009 9:09:22 PM
There are 4 M101's in 3/10s motorpool, and some more across the road in 1/10 and 2/10 maintenance bay!!!
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