Photo Information

Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD) fire stinger missiles during a live shoot in the National Training Center on Fort Irwin (NTC), California, August 10. Marines also fired the 50 Caliber sniper rifle and the M240B machine gun during the five-day annual training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kimberlyn Adams/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kimberlyn Adams

3rd LAAD fires stinger missile on Fort Irwin

12 Aug 2015 | Lance Cpl. Kimberlyn Adams 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD) participated in an annual stinger exercise on National Training Center Fort Irwin (NTC), California, August 10.

During this exercise, Marines fired 60 stinger missiles at remote-controlled airplanes. The Marines split into fire teams for the exercise. Each team is equipped with personal weapons, a stinger missile and a Humvee with a mounted machine gun.

“We are the only unit in the Marine Corps that provides ground-based air defense,” said Capt. James Arnold, operations officer with 3rd LAAD, and a Mobile, Alabama native. “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.”

Marines spent four days preparing and one day conducting the live-fire exercise in the fields of Fort Irwin.

“Our job is to provide ground-based air defense in support of special assets and this training allows us to actually utilize a live stinger missile and shoot it,” said Cpl. Tyler Parr, a gunner with 3rd LAAD, and an Amberg, Wisconsin native.

According to Arnold, the Marines with 3rd LAAD enjoy this type of unique training.

“I think this field [operation], being up here at NTC, has really changed things up for us,” said Parr. “Coming here boosted morale and got the guys a little more excited.”