The US military often explores options for enhancing their capabilities, particularly when it comes to firepower. One effort involved strapping Light Armored Vehicles, or LAVs, to the flight deck of the USS Wasp, increasing the “lethality” of the vessel and making it a more formidable foe when traveling through dangerous waters.
In September, as part of a joint effort between the Marines and Navy, the 31st Marine Expeditionary (MEU) secured LAVs to the flight deck of the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, during a defense drill in the South China Sea.
The drill allowed military forces to explore using a variety of weapons as a means for keeping the ship secure and combating potential foes.
“Increasing the lethality of the Navy-Marine Corps Team is the priority for us,” said Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet.
“Sailors and Marines are doing amazing work, and we are becoming more lethal every single day,” Cooper added.
During the drill, according to NBC San Diego, mounted machine guns were also used. Marine snipers had the ability to use M107 semi-automatic rifles while machine gunners provided additional firepower.
Marines and Sailors focused on inflatable gunnery targets, often called “killer tomatoes,” while on the open water.
“We demonstrated collective combat effectiveness,” said commander of Amphibious Squadron 11 Capt. Jim McGovern. “The ability of these Sailors and Marines to fully integrate, get weapons systems on deck, helicopters in the air, and rounds down range in such a timely manner shows that we are ready for anything.”