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1/12 concludes battalion phase of Spartan Fury

US Marine Corps News

By Lance Cpl. Khalil Ross | March 16, 2015

The battalion phase of Operation Spartan Fury 15.2 drew to a close for 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island of Hawaii, March 10, 2015.

Spartan Fury is broken up into three phases: battery, battalion and regimental phases.

"The battalion phase is where we operate in a centralized mode in order to best control the (artillery strikes) in support of the maneuver elements," said Master Sgt. Timothy C. Harvey, the battalion operations chief with 1st Bn., 12th Marines.

The overall objective of this five-day phase is to support 3rd Marine Regiment by providing direct and indirect artillery strikes in a battle scenario, said Harvey, a China Spring, Texas native.

"We can bring the whole weight of the Marine Corps' combined arms to the enemy," said Capt. Jason G. Grim, the fire support officer with Headquarters Battery, 1st Bn., 12th Marines.

Grim works with the Fire Support Coordination Center which coordinates both air and surface-to-surface artillery strikes.

"We have a scenario where we are giving (coordinates) to the battalion," said Grim. "The battalion then relays the coordinates to the battery so they can support the maneuver elements and plan their (strikes)."

There are differences between the battery's responsibilities during each phase, according to Grim.

"During the battery phase, the company's forward observers call coordinates directly to the battery then the Fire Direction Center would approve, deny or modify the fire orders," said Grim. "However during the battalion phase the forward observer teams call for strikes in support of the overall battle scenario."

Some challenges they faced were the environment as well as bringing to bear the different elements over the battle space, according to Grim.

"It's extremely chaotic," said Harvey. "It's a whole other language to the point where you look at it from the outside in and it seems almost foreign. You can have five different Marines shouting critical information at you at the same time and you have to hear it all."

During this iteration of Spartan Fury, the unit is stressing the counter-fire ability so they can bring their own artillery strikes onto the enemy's indirect fire assets, Harvey added.

"Either way you look at it artillery is the ultimate team sport," said Harvey. "Our body is here, our eyes are five clicks away and our brain is somewhere in between. They need to be able to work together. We are here to support 3rd Marines. We take pride in our craft and like to be the best in the business."

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