Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. --
Spouses of service members with Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 and 266, participated in a Jane Wayne Day aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 12.
The Jane Wayne Day gives family members the Marine Corps experience, said Megan McGann, MWSS-272 family readiness officer.
Traditionally, the Marines of MWSS-272 have their own Jane Wayne Day every year, said Sgt. Maj. Steven Soares, MWSS-272 senior enlisted advisor. But this year, several FROs from Marine Aircraft Group 26 decided to join with MWSS-272.
“This is our way of saying thank you,” said Lt. Col. Stephen C. Augustin, VMMT-204 commanding officer.
The spouses split up in two groups. The first group headed to a range to fire the M16 A4 service rifle and the M203 40 mm grenade launcher and the other group stayed aboard the air station to run a combat fitness test and fly an MV-22B Osprey in the flight simulators.
All of the spouses received a safety brief in the rain and began to shoot their rounds down range.
“We are very proud of all the spouses out here in the rain,” said Cristina Long, VMM-264 FRO. “They are keeping a positive attitude.”
The puddles of water added a dramatic splash to their range time. With every shot, water jumped several feet off the ground to show where their shot landed.
Some of the spouses were experienced shooters and shot all 30 rounds quickly into their targets, while others took their time because they had never shot a rifle before.
After all of their rounds were spent, the Jane Wayne participants moved to the grenade launcher.
The M203 grenade launcher attaches to the underside of the rifle and is capable of shooting several different types of rounds, depending on the user and situation. The spouses shot three M781 practice rounds each at a target one-hundred meters away.
To get the full Marine Corps experience, the spouses had lunch at the air station’s dining facility.
After lunch, the two groups switched spots and took their turns at running a CFT in a field aboard the air station. They ran, low crawled and carried ammo cans to understand what their Marines prepare for during the second half of the year.
“I was surprised to hear that if it rains the Marines cancel the CFT,” said Laura Duffy. “We ran it while it was pouring rain out there.”
After shooting all of their rounds and crawling through mud, the spouses walked away dirty, tired and with a new appreciation for the training their service members experience.