US Marines fire Stinger missiles during a five-day annual exercise

12 August 2015 (Last Updated August 12th, 2015 18:30)

US Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion have successfully conducted a five-day annual Stinger exercise on Fort Irwin, California.

stinger missiles

US Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion have successfully conducted a five-day annual Stinger exercise on Fort Irwin, California.

The latest exercise saw the marines firing 60 Stinger missiles at remote controlled aeroplanes.

3rd LAAD operations officer captain James Arnold said: "We are the only unit in the Marine Corps that provides ground-based air defence.

"Our primary weapon system for that mission is the Stinger surface-to-air missile and this is our one shot each year to do a live fire with that."

During the exercise, the marines were divided into fire teams, wherein each team was equipped with personal weapons, a Stinger missile and a Humvee with a mounted machine gun.

For this drill, the personnel engaged in preparation for four days at Fort Irwin National Training Center (NTC).

"This training allows us to actually utilise a live stinger missile and shoot it."

Corporal Tyler Parr, a 3rd LAAD gunner said: "Our job is to provide ground-based air defence in support of special assets and this training allows us to actually utilise a live stinger missile and shoot it.

"I think this field ops, being up here at NTC, has really changed things up for us. Coming here boosted morale and got the guys a little more excited."

The current production version of Stinger missile, the Stinger reprogrammable microprocessor (RMP) Blk 1 offers more than 90% success rate in reliability and training tests against advanced threat targets.

In addition to surface-to-air capability from land and sea, it provides an air-to-air capability that can be integrated into most fixed or rotary-wing platforms.


Image: Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD) fire stinger missiles during a live shoot in Fort Irwin, California. Photo: courtesy of Lance Cpl Kimberlyn Adams.